If your vehicle has a model year after 1998, it likely has frontal airbags. These airbags may save your life in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, frontal airbags reduce your fatality risk by almost 30%.
While surviving a car crash is your top priority, the news is not all positive. That is, because your car’s airbags deploy with explosive force, you may be vulnerable to a variety of serious injuries.
Your face has 14 separate bones, including your jawbone and eye sockets. If your face smashes into an inflated airbag, you may break one or more of these bones. For minor facial bone breaks, your doctor only may prescribe pain medication and allow the bones to heal on their own.
If you have major fractures, though, you are likely to need surgery. Sadly, the shape and functionality of your face may never return to normal after your procedure.
While the exterior of your car’s airbags is smooth, broken glass and other debris may fall between your body and the deployed airbag. If this happens, you may sustain deep lacerations to your face, neck or torso. While doctors may be able to stitch your skin back together, you may develop scars that last a lifetime.
Your trigeminal nerve runs through your face and into your neck. If an airbag damages this nerve, you may experience temporary or even permanent paralysis. Either way, your nerve damage may interfere with your ability to blink, speak, eat and drink.
Even though you are likely to be grateful for the protections your airbags provide, you may have a long recovery from airbag-related injuries. Ultimately, pursuing financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident helps you obtain the medical care you deserve.