If you are in a car accident in which your vehicle is struck heavily and airbags deploy as they are intended, you would likely have no basis for a lawsuit. Though you may have sustained injuries from the force of the airbag, it is likely that you would have suffered far more catastrophic injuries had they not deployed. However, airbags have been known to deploy unnecessarily and cause severe injury, or even death. In this case, you may very well be entitled to compensation.
If a vehicle is struck in a low-impact crash, airbags should not deploy. There is a certain amount of force that should be met to activate a vehicle's crash sensors. In most vehicles, that force would be attained at the equivalent of striking a fixed object at 8-14mph or more, and would be considered a moderate to severe crash.
Common injuries sustained by airbags that deploy unexpectedly or fail to work properly include lacerations, contusions, spinal and neck injuries, eye trauma, and head and brain injuries. Some can even be severe enough to cause death.
The key to proving an injury was caused by improper airbag deployment is to prove that the injury would not have occurred had the airbag not deployed. If you have been injured in this manner, an experienced personal injury attorney can likely gain you compensation in court. Both the airbag and vehicle manufacturers can be held liable for such. The claim would fall under the product liability category and could result in a substantial award.