Seat belts can be seen on various different types of vehicles in Sacramento, including cars, trucks, buses, vans, recreational vehicles, and boats. Seatbelt laws vary generally from state to state, but in Sacramento, California, all those in a vehicle should be wearing a seatbelt at all times.

 In the event that a passenger or driver in a vehicle is not wearing a seatbelt, they could be subject to fines and penalties. Seatbelt laws and regulations in Sacramento are meant to protect passengers and drivers in the event of a collision. 

But, sometimes, seat belts cause more injuries. In this unfortunate event, you have the right to recover compensation by holding the negligent parties responsible. Give us a call today to discuss which parties might be held responsible in your specific seat belt accident injury. Because seat belt injuries are very rare, and may be difficult to prove, a highly qualified Sacramento personal injury attorney is needed to investigate the circumstances of your accident to narrow down exactly how the seat belt caused injuries.

Sacramento Seat Belt Laws

  • Sacramento requires that all drivers and passengers in cars, trucks, and vans wear a seatbelt at all times. If they fail to do so, they could be subject to fines and getting pulled over by the Sacramento police.
  • Those aged 16 and older are required to wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Children who are under the age of eight or are under 4 ft and 9 in must be in an approved child booster seat. The child booster seat must meet all Department of Motor Vehicle safety standards. The booster seat must fit the child properly.
  • Children that are under the years of 2 years old must be secured facing the rear in a child safety seat.
  • All the laws can change at any time, generally, Sacramento has had a history of holding those who do not wear seat belts responsible.

What are the benefits of wearing a seatbelt?

A seat belt has a long-standing history of preventing severe injuries in car accidents. A seatbelt holds the driver or passenger down and prevents them from moving a lot or jerking forward in the event of a collision. Seat belt injuries could result though. But, seat belt injuries are less severe than injuries that could occur to an accident victim if they were not wearing a seatbelt.

Seat Belt Injuries

 Various injuries could result from a seatbelt, including:

  • Rib injuries: since the seat belt goes across the ribs, the wrong position could lead to rib fractures, bruises, or dislocations.
  • Stomach injuries: abdominal injuries, especially internal abdominal injuries could result from a seat belt injury since the seat belt is located close to the abdomen.
  • Neck injuries: neck injuries, especially dislocations and fractures to the collarbone could result from a seatbelt injury.
  • Soft tissue injuries: soft tissue injuries, such as bruises and contusions could result all throughout the parts of the body that are in contact with the seatbelt.

The above seat belt injuries are considered to be minor compared to severe injuries that could result if the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. Regardless though, there is a way that a seatbelt injury accident victim could hold the responsible party liable for their injuries.

Seat Belt Defects

One of the most common responsible parties associated with seatbelt defects is product manufacturers. Sometimes, seat belts could have defects. Although very rare, it is likely to lead to severe injuries. For example, if the seat belt has a defect that does not allow the seat belt to properly lock, it could come undone during the accident, and the driver could be thrown forward through the windshield. This is referred to as a product liability lawsuit

A product liability lawsuit holds the product manufacturer and retailer responsible for creating a product with a defect. There are different types of defects, including design defects, warning defects, and manufacturing defects. 

What should I do after a seatbelt injury in Sacramento?

  • Get the required medical help. Seat belt injuries, such as internal organ damage need immediate assistance and evaluation from medical providers. If not properly evaluated, the injuries could get worse. 
  • We recommend that you contact a medical provider immediately if you have not called 911 after the accident. You should see a doctor a day or two after the collision.
  • Preserve all evidence. Make sure that the vehicle is not touched or towed away. If it is towed away, make sure that the vehicle is still in the same condition as it was after the collision. The seat belt must be analyzed by legal experts to determine the exact defect and the cause of the accident. 

Could I recover compensation for my seatbelt injuries?

You may be able to recover compensation for your seatbelt injuries, but it depends on the damages that you have suffered. We recommend that you speak to our attorneys for more information. For example, you could recover:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of income

Examples Of Seatbelt Defects

It takes a highly-rated product liability attorney to gather all evidence and show how the seatbelt has a defect. Examples of seat belt defects include:

  • Incorrect seat belt placement. A seatbelt must be properly placed above the chest, and go across the passenger’s or driver’s body.
  • Excessively tight seat belt.  A seatbelt must retract, and lock the driver or passenger in. However excessive restraint could cause more injuries.
  • Torn seat belt. A seatbelt must be strong, and should not have any pairs or phrase. In the event that it does, it could weaken the seatbelt, and the seat belt may not be able to retract properly.
  • Locking failure. The seat belt must lock into place in the event of a collision. If the lock fails during the collision, the passenger driver could get thrown forward.
  • Improper seat belt design. A shoulder belt and a lot belt must be designed. 
  • Improper latching. Sometimes, a seatbelt me look like it has latched to the lock when it has not and the driver or passenger is unrestrained.
  • Release button problems. When the release button is pressed, the seat belt should retract. But, in some cases, it may not release. 

Seat belt manufacturers have a duty to make sure that all the seat belts that they manufacture are built to high standards and are made properly. If there are any design flaws or manufacturing flaws, then the manufacturer could be held responsible. Usually, vehicle manufacturers may outsource seat belt manufacturing to other third parties. Your highly qualified Sacramento attorney will have to investigate who this third party may be. 

Sacramento Seat Belt Injury Attorney 

Unfortunately, there is a slight chance that seat belts could cause injuries. In that event, not only could you hold the other party responsible for the collision, but you could also hold the party responsible for manufacturing the seat belt defectively. Give us a call today to discuss. We offer complimentary case evaluations to review your specific accident and the injuries that have resulted from the seat belt.