It is recommended that everyone wears a seat belt at all times. In Irvine, California all passengers and drivers in a vehicle must wear a seatbelt. This is because seat belts can save lives. In the event of a collision with another vehicle, those who are held back with a seat belt will not jolt forward and hit other objects or the dashboard. But, there are circumstances where seat belts could also lead to injuries.

Seat Belt Injuries

Seat belt injuries can be very severe since they hold the passenger back. Below are common examples of seat belt injuries:

  • Whiplash: when a seatbelt pulls the passenger back, they may experience whiplash. Whiplash occurs when there is an abrupt forward movement. Usually, whiplash leads to back injuries. These back injuries may need physical therapy sessions or surgeries depending on if the passenger had any pre-existing conditions.
  • Chest injuries: When the seat belt pushes the passenger back, that force could lead to chest injuries. For example, depending on the rate of speed at the time of the collision, injuries may include broken bones and internal organ damage.
  • Shoulder injuries: Since the seat belt goes across the shoulder of the passenger, it could lead to shoulder dislocations or fractures when the passenger is abruptly held back.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries could result when a person is jolted forward and back and sustains back injuries.
  • Submarining: Submarining is another word used to refer to a passenger who slides down under the seat belt because the seat belt has not moved and has held the passenger in so tightly that they have no other place to go but down. This could lead to spinal cord injuries.

Could I file a lawsuit for seat belt injuries?

Seat belt injury lawsuits could get very complicated. In an accident, there are so many parties that could be held responsible. For example, the driver of the other vehicle could be held responsible. But, seat belts could also contribute to your injuries. When that is the case, you have the right to file a lawsuit not only against the party that caused the accident but for your seatbelt injuries. This is usually common with defective seat belts.

Defective Seat Belt Lawsuit In Irvine, California

The most common circumstance involving seat belt injury lawsuits are lawsuits against the seat belt product manufacturer or seat belt product retailer. This occurs in circumstances where the seat belt is found to be defective. It takes months of investigation and research to determine if the seat belt did have a defect at the time of the collision.

When you hire our top-rated Irvine lawyers, we will look into your specific accident. We will investigate the accident by examining photos, hiring accident experts, examining property damage, watching surveillance footage, reading medical records, and looking into accident reports. All these play a factor in determining whether the seatbelt actually did have a defect.

How do I know if my seatbelt had a defect at the time of the accident?

This is a question that should be evaluated by a highly-rated Irvine attorney. An attorney will be able to look into your specific circumstance to see what steps they should take to make sure that you get the compensation you need. One of the most important things you could do in a seatbelt injury lawsuit is to prove that there was a defect that existed. Below are some steps you should take if you have experienced seatbelt injuries following an accident:

  1. Make sure that you keep all the evidence of the accident. The more evidence you preserve, the better. For example, take photos of the accident location, and make sure that your car is not towed. Unfortunately, sometimes vehicles could get towed making it difficult for experts to investigate the seatbelt.
  2. Get medical attention: When you get medical attention, medical providers will take a look at various symptoms to see if the injuries you have suffered were aggravated by the defective seat belt. For example, bruises and contusions could sometimes lead to pointing to a seatbelt defect. Besides determining a seatbelt defect, it is very important that you take this time to look after your health. Seatbelt injuries could be catastrophic, and if not treated properly, could lead to permanent injuries.
  3. Contact an experienced Irvine product defect attorney: When asserting that your seatbelt was defective, you must make sure that you have an experienced product liability attorney. A product liability attorney is an attorney who specializes in holding manufacturers accountable for putting defective products into the stream of commerce. Product liability is different from negligence lawsuits.

What is the difference between negligence and product liability?

  • Negligence is a claim that an accident victim asserts in an accident, such as a car accident or a slip and fall accident. Negligence essentially states that the responsible party had a duty to act in a safe manner, and failed to go through with this duty. Because they breached this duty, it led to an accident.
  • Product liability holds manufacturers responsible instead of independent parties. Product liability asserts that the manufacturer created a product that had a defect. There are three different types of defects, which could include:
  1. Design defects: Examples of design defects in seat belts could be at the latching mechanism. Latches and buckles are supposed to close, and in the event that they fail to latch and release during an accident, could be defective.
  2. Manufacturing defects: Manufacturing defects for seat belts occur during the assembly process. An example would be improper stitching or a weak fabric seat belt. 
  3. Warning defects: Warning defects with a seatbelt include insufficient instructions. All vehicle drivers and passengers must be made aware of how to use the seat belt properly. This means that vehicles must come equipped with safety instructions advising passengers and drivers on what to do. This is especially true in circumstances where children are in the vehicle. 

Seat belt defects could be found in:

Give us a call today to discuss your specific type of accident. 

Seat Belt Defect Attorney In Irvine

An Irvine defect attorney will investigate all the circumstances of the accident. It takes a qualified product defect attorney to make sure that you have a strong case. If you were to hire an inexperienced Irvine attorney, you may not receive the compensation you deserve. 

We offer no-risk consultations, which means that we offer complimentary case evaluations to review the specific seat belt accident injuries that you have suffered to determine if there was a defect at the time of the accident. The good news is that our attorneys are contingency fee attorneys, which means that we receive no fees unless we win compensation for you. 

Product liability is a very specific type of law, and experienced attorneys should constantly keep themselves updated with any regulations or vehicle manufacturing recalls concerning seat belts.