Can I Still File a Car Accident Claim if the Airbags Never Deployed?

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on August 13, 2021  in Car Accident News. Updated on July 12, 2023

If you were involved in an accident in which the airbags did not deploy, the insurance company may lead you to believe you did not suffer any serious injuries and your claim is not worth very much. However, there are several reasons why the airbags in a vehicle may not have been deployed during a car accident.

Our auto accident lawyers in New Jersey understand that your injuries may be more serious than initially thought and are prepared to help you file a claim so that you may recover the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.


Airbags in cars are meant to deploy during an accident depending on the severity and location of impact. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, airbag deployment occurs when a vehicle collides with a solid fixture at more than 14 mph on or near the front side of a vehicle. However, if this type of impact does not occur, the airbag sensor may not be triggered, so the airbag may not deploy during the crash. This is especially true if the accident is a rear-end collision.

Vehicles that have side and passenger airbags are also supposed to deploy the airbags when the vehicle detects a passenger in the front or rear seat who is over a certain height and weight to trigger the censors. However, if a child is occupying the seat, the airbags may not deploy. This is because airbag deployment, while meant to prevent serious injury, can result in significant injuries to children and infants.


Even if you do not believe you suffered a serious injury after an accident in which the airbags did not deploy, you should still seek out immediate medical treatment to have a medical professional diagnose the extent of your injuries. Remember, even a minor car accident can lead to serious injuries.

Once you have sought out the proper medical treatment, you should file a claim with your Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which is how your medical bills should be paid for, as New Jersey is a no-fault state.

As for property damages, you should file a claim with the at-fault driver’s property damage liability insurance so your car can either be repaired or replaced after the crash.

One of the first questions the insurance companies may ask about when you file your claim is whether the airbags deployed during the crash. While you may be hesitant to answer this question out of fear that your claim may be denied, it is important to always be honest with the insurance adjuster. Therefore, if the airbags did not deploy, you should say so.


Legally, the insurance company should not be able to deny your car accident injury claim simply because the airbags did not deploy during the crash. Remember that airbags are not meant to always deploy in every kind of crash.

For your claim to be lawfully denied, the insurance company must have reason to believe that you are faking your injury or that you were completely at fault for the accident. However, due to New Jersey’s no-fault laws, you would still be able to have your medical bills paid for through your own PIP insurance if you are responsible for the crash.


The evidence you may be able to use for an accident claim in which airbags did deploy may also be used in an accident in which the airbags never deployed, as car accident injuries may occur in any type of crash.

The most common types of injuries caused in minor accidents in which there was no airbag deployment include:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussions
  • Herniated discs
  • Sprains or strains

Proving these injuries may require documentation from a medical professional who may be able to successfully link your injuries to the accident.


If you were injured in an accident, even a minor one in which the airbags never deployed, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.

Let our experienced attorneys help you through the process of filing a claim and dealing with the insurance company. For decades, we have successfully recovered millions on behalf of injury victims like you throughout New Jersey.*

We offer a free consultation and charge no fees while we work on your case, so there is no risk to you.

Call us today at (800) 518-0508 

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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