Your seat belt is the primary tool in your vehicle that should protect you from the hazards of the road. It keeps you appropriately positioned within the vehicle cabin, allowing you to remain safe, minimizing the hazards of you bumping into the interior surfaces of the car or being ejected from the vehicle in case of impact. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these are, by far, the most effective safety devices available in your vehicle.
Yet, they are not entirely flawless in their functionality. If there was a mistake in your car’s manufacturing or a defect in the seat belt itself, the risk of becoming injured by the very device meant to protect you arises. If this describes your previous experience in a car accident, see the information below, provided by the experts at Riddle and Brantley, to learn how to proceed in legal action.
The Types of Seat belt-Related Injuries
The first step to defending yourself from potential seat belt-related injuries is to ensure that you are wearing the device properly. Your seat belt should be fitted firmly around your hips and crossed over the shoulder. It should be tight enough around your body to keep you safely in place, but not so much that it digs into the skin on your neck. The belt can be expected to remain secure throughout your ride, especially in the event of a collision.
Some of the instances in which one would ever be afflicted with an injury due to the use of a seatbelt are: If the manufacturer produced a faulty safety device; or if there are underlying mechanical issues with your vehicle. Such circumstances typically result in the following injuries:
- Dislocation of the joints
- Spinal cord injuries, such as herniated discs of paralysis
- Damage to internal organs
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such as concussions
Of course, in extreme cases, the failure of the seat belt to function appropriately could result in an individual being ejected from the vehicle and consequentially losing their life.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured Due to a Faulty Seat belt
If you have been injured as a result of an automobile malfunction interfering with seat belt functionality, flawed seatbelt construction, or a related issue, you have the right to file a claim for your injuries. The manufacturer had a duty to produce a safety device that was fully functional upon distribution to provide the ultimate protection for their customers. Their failure to do so makes them liable for the damages incurred in your accident.
Still, they may not be the only ones responsible for this incident. For example, if you recently had your car serviced, and the mechanics neglected to inform you of any defects of this safety device, they may be liable. Additionally, any automobile retailer who knowingly sells a faulty car can be held accountable as well.
To assist you in filing your claim and clarifying the details of your case, contact a car accident lawyer. They will guide you through each step of the litigation process and investigate the circumstances in-depth to determine which parties are directly responsible for your injuries. When you are ready to pursue legal action, get in touch with an experienced car accident attorney to enhance your chances of success in recovering compensation for your accident.