Seat Belt Injuries in a Car Accident
Seat belts are meant to protect vehicle riders and usually work as intended, preventing severe injuries in the event of a car crash. While a seat belt may leave a passenger with bruises or lacerations, they are saved from colliding with large inanimate objects and inflicting more serious bodily harm.
However, seat belts, like other safety devices, can fail. When they do, internal injuries, organ damage, and life-threatening events can occur. These medical emergencies can require costly, ongoing medical care and change an accident victim’s life forever.
The following article identifies common seat belt injuries and their causes. Knowing these can help you to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the event of a car crash.
If you believe you suffered serious injuries due to an ineffective or defective seat belt, reach out to an experienced Arizona car accident attorney for more information about seat belt injuries.
How Seat Belts Work
A seat belt is a safety restraint system that employs when a vehicle comes to a sudden stop in an accident or at a traffic signal. Whether a vehicle occupant is hurt due to a seat belt engaging can depend on any of the following:
- The speed of the car at the time of impact;
- The location of the seat belt on the body;
- If the seat belt was defective or malfunctioned in some way;
- If the seat belt had a shoulder belt or just a lap belt.
Some seat belt injuries are expected. However, faulty seat belts, excessive speed, and other factors can result in profound bodily harm.
The Relationship between Seat Belt Location and Victim Injury
Seat belt location is among the most significant predictors of injury. For instance, lap belts cause internal abdominal and spinal injury. While shoulder belts more commonly result in neck, shoulder, and chest injuries.
Other medical issues caused by seat belts can include but are not limited to:
- Broken ribs;
- Torn muscles and tendons;
- Head and brain injuries;
- Internal organ damage;
- Cuts and bruises; and
- Seat Belt Syndrome.
Seat Belt Syndrome is internal damage not readily apparent following an accident. Seat Belt Syndrome results from belt positioning at the time of an accident. This condition may take hours or days to detect without the immediate assistance of a medical professional and examination for internal organ damage.
Insufficient and Defective Seat Belts
When a seat belt fails to protect a vehicle occupant adequately, it may be because the seat belt was insufficient to protect an occupant in a crash or the seat belt was defective due to a design or manufacturing defect.
The results of these issues include excessive occupant injuries like those listed above. Signs of defective seat belts may consist of:
- A torn seat belt;
- A seat belt that releases or comes loose during an accident;
- A seat belt that is mounted into the car door; and
- A seat belt that fails to retract during an accident.
If you received excessive injuries after a car accident and suspect your seat belt was at fault, call an experienced Arizona attorney for help identifying if your seat belt was insufficient or defective.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Car Accident Attorney Today
Get the help you need today by contacting an experienced Arizona car accident attorney at Knapp & Roberts. Our legal professionals can investigate your car accident case to determine if your seat belt intensified your crash injuries and pursue all liable parties to get you the compensation you need to move forward with your life.
Get started on your accident claim now. At Knapp & Roberts, your claim consultation is complimentary. Protect your legal rights by contacting us at our Phoenix, Arizona, office before speaking with any insurance companies.
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