A seat belt is one of a vehicle's most important safety features. When used correctly, it can save your life in an accident. However, not wearing a seat belt is still one of the leading causes of fatalities in car accidents. Additionally, if a seat belt malfunctions during an accident, it could result in serious injuries or even death.
Statistics About Seat Belts
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 23,824 people were killed in passenger vehicles in 2020. Of those, 51 percent were unrestrained (not wearing seat belts). Studies have shown that wearing a seat belt in the front seat of a passenger car reduces your risk of death by 45 percent and severe injury by 50 percent. Buckling up in a vehicle is perhaps one of the most important things you can do!
Seat Belt Malfunction Liability
In some cases, when a person does not wear their seatbelt, and an accident occurs, they may be partially or fully liable for any damages sustained. However, if a seat belt malfunctions during an accident, then there may be other parties that may be responsible.
A manufacturer may be held liable for a seat belt malfunction if the belt was not adequately designed, constructed or inspected prior to being placed into a vehicle. Generally, proving that a manufacturer has negligently caused or contributed to an injury sustained due to a seat belt failure requires thorough investigation and documentation of the facts relevant to the case.
Suppose it is determined that the defective seat belt was the proximate cause of an injury. In that case, the driver, passengers or other injured parties may be entitled to seek monetary damages from the responsible manufacturer. Manufacturers must take their responsibility of supplying passengers with adequate protection seriously; neglecting this could potentially result in severe consequences and financial penalties.
Common Types of Seat Belt Injuries
Injuries sustained due to a seat belt malfunction can range from minor bruises or abrasions to life-altering internal injuries. The most common types of seat belt-related injuries include:
- Bruising and Abrasions – Caused by the force of the belt against the body during an accident.
- Internal Injuries – Can be caused by the force of the belt against organs such as the liver, spleen and lungs.
- Neck Injuries – These can occur due to excessive forces exerted on the neck during a collision.
- Whiplash – A severe injury common in car accidents and can cause pain, stiffness and limited movement in the neck.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a seat belt malfunction, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer at Boesen Law can help you understand your rights and protect them throughout the legal process. Furthermore, they can help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages sustained as a result of your accident.
If you were involved in a car accident caused by a negligent individual, contact us today at (303) 327-9988 or fill out our contact form online.