Seat Belt Injury Compensation Attorney

Usually, when many people think of a seatbelt, they think of safety and decreasing the severity of their injuries. But, what happens when your seat belt fails during an accident? What happens when you sustain injuries from your seatbelt? 

Although seat belt injuries are very rare, it is possible. Many people are also not aware of the right to file a lawsuit in the event that they have been injured by their seatbelt, or because their seatbelt did not function properly. 

Seat belt injuries usually occur when the seatbelt is defective and fails to perform properly during an accident.

Many states, including California and Nevada, have legally mandated the wearing of seat belts when either driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle. Wearing a seatbelt helps reduce the chances of getting severely hurt in an accident by 30%.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a defect in the seat belt that has caused injuries during a car accident, contact our California and Nevada seat belt injury attorneys today. 

The most recent seat belt recall occurred in March of 2023, when Honda recalled half a million vehicles for having defective seat belts. The latch of the front passenger seat belt was determined to be defective. If you have been injured by a defective seat belt while in a Honda, contact our seatbelt injury attorneys today to see if you qualify for filing a lawsuit.

It is important to recognize that sometimes seatbelts cause unexpected injuries. In that case, make sure that you have the right attorney on your side. We recommend that all our clients wear seat belts while driving, however, if you have been injured due to the seat belt, you may have a claim against the seat belt manufacturer.  Contact our seat belt injury attorneys today to see what type of damages you could be compensated for.

How Are Seat Belt Injuries Caused?

 Seat belt injuries are caused in one of two ways:

  • when the seat belt pulls and restraints the driver or passenger back abruptly
  • when the seat belt fails to restrain the driver or passenger, and feels to hold them back 

Since the seat belt is close to the chest, stomach, and neck area, it could cause very severe injuries to the spinal cord.

What Are Some Common Seat Belt Defects?

There are different ways a seatbelt could have a defect. Different types of seat belt defects include:

  • When the seatbelt is released from the latch during the accident and then is unattached, the passenger or driver then is not restrained and could get thrown around the vehicle, or out of the vehicle 
  • When the seatbelt is designed incorrectly and fails to attach to the latch 
  • When the seatbelt is mounted into the door
  • When the seat belt is torn or webbing happens in the cloth. The cloth of the seat belt needs to be of a certain strength 
  • When the seat belt comes loose during the accident
  • When the seat belt is not retracted correctly during an accident, and prevents the belt from restraining the driver or passenger
  • When the seat belt is not the proper length, and it may be too short, and restrains the driver or passenger severely
  • When the seat belt has faulty stitching that affects the durability of the retraction

As seen above, there are only a few indicators that show if the seatbelt had a defect during the accident.

Unfortunately, cars are oftentimes recalled for defects with the seat belt. We have just seen recent recalls for Ford, Honda, and Toyota seat belt designs.

How Do I Know if a Seatbelt Has a Defect?

Our seat belt injury attorneys will be investigating the accident and determining if the seat belt defect is responsible for your injuries. There are specific things to watch out for to determine if the seat belt actually had a defect.

  • The seat belt was torn after an accident
  • The seat belt had faulty stitching
  •  the victim was thrown around inside the vehicle
  • The belt is short 
  • The belt’s retractor is broken 
  • The victim was thrown into the windshield during the accident
  • Multiple passengers of the car were injured from their seatbelt
  • The seat belt was unlatched during the accident

How Common Are Seat Belt Injuries?

Contrary to popular belief, seat belt injuries are somewhat common in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3 million people suffer seat belt injuries every year. Among those three million people, 40,000 people die from seat belt defects. Seat belt defects could be seen in standard cars, trucks, and even buses.

What Injuries do Defective Seat Belts Cause?

There are several different types of injuries that are caused by a defective seat belt. Different types of injuries include:

  • Skin abrasions: skin abrasions occur when the seat belt rubs across the skin of the driver. Skin abrasions are most likely to be found in the area near the stomach. These are the most common types of seat belt injuries. Seat belt abrasions are also likely to cause internal injuries.
  • Head injuries: this is the second most common seat belt injuries
  • Brain injuries: this occurs when the driver is pushed forward towards the windshield and hits their head to the glass.
  • Shoulder injuries: because of the abrupt impact of the seat belt impact, the soft tissue in the shoulder bones could tear. This type of injury may need physical therapy sessions and the use of the shoulder may be temporarily limited.
  • Broken rib bones: many passengers may experience broken or fractured ribs because of the seat belt restraint. This needs immediate medical treatment to determine if there are further injuries caused to the lungs. Injuries to the lungs could result in future breathing problems. A minor rib injury includes bruising, which could be treated by icing it.
  • Spinal cord injuriesthis is most common when the lap belt is fastened on really tight
  • Disfigurement: this occurs when the driver has been involved in a very severe accident and is flung out of the car suffering fractured limbs.
  • Stomach injuries: stomach injuries are very rare, however if the passenger experiences any type of abdominal pain, they should seek immediate medical care.
  • Death: when death has occurred, the victim’s family members bring a wrongful death claim against the at fault party.

Who is Responsible for My Seat Belt Injury?

Seat belt defects fall under a product’s liability lawsuit, which holds the product manufacturer and product retailer responsible for the defective product. But, it is the victim’s responsibility to prove that the seat belt actually had a defect. Usually, this is easy to prove if there has been a recall. But if there has not been a recall, it takes a highly skilled attorney to investigate the circumstances and collaborate one-on-one with experts to piece together how the accident happened and how exactly the seat belt is defective.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of injuries caused by a defective seat belt, contact our injury attorneys to fight for your rights and make sure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. 

Our personal injury attorneys in California and Nevada are ready to take on your case and fight for your rights to make sure that your seat belt injuries are well-compensated.