June 7, 2024

Can a Seat Belt Cause Injuries?

Contact Our Skilled Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. for Personalized Legal Assistance for a Seat Belt Injury

In the unfortunate event of a car accident, seat belts serve as a critical safety feature. Despite their life-saving potential, seat belts can also cause injuries. That does not seem to make sense – how can that happen?

Seat belts significantly reduce the risk of injuries by preventing occupants from being ejected from the vehicle or colliding with its interior. They also exert considerable force on the body upon sudden deceleration or impact. Seat belt injuries can be defined as a range of trauma sustained due to the use of seat belts during a car accident.

Common seat belt injuries include:

  • Soft Tissue Injuries: These affect muscles, ligaments, and tendons, often resulting in bruises, sprains, or strains.
  • Internal Injuries: Seat belts can cause internal trauma like organ damage, internal bleeding, or fractures to the ribs or sternum.
  • Whiplash: The abrupt restraint of a seat belt can cause the neck to snap forward and backward.
  • Seat Belt Syndrome: This refers to a specific pattern of injuries, including abdominal trauma and spinal fractures, caused by improper seat belt positioning during a collision.

Understanding the potential for seat belt injuries underscores the importance of using seat belts correctly and ensuring they are properly adjusted for all occupants.

Seat belt injuries result from the rapid deceleration experienced during a car accident, combined with the forces exerted by the seat belt on the body. Factors contributing to seat belt injuries include:

  • Improper Fit: Seat belts should be properly adjusted to fit snugly across the lap and shoulder, distributing the force of impact more evenly. An improperly fitted seat belt can cause concentrated pressure on certain areas of the body, increasing the risk of injury.
  • High-Speed Collisions: The severity of seat belt injuries is often related to the speed at which a collision occurs. Higher speeds result in greater forces being exerted on the body upon impact.
  • Collision Angle: The angle at which a vehicle is struck can influence the direction of the forces exerted on occupants, potentially leading to several types of seat belt injuries.
  • Defective Seat Belts: In some cases, seat belt injuries may be caused by defects in the design or manufacturing of the seat belt system. These defects can compromise the seat belt’s effectiveness in protecting occupants during a crash.

What Legal Recourse Is Available for Seat Belt Injuries?

You may have legal recourse to pursue compensation for your injuries. In cases where seat belt injuries occur due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, potential avenues for legal action include:

  • Product Liability Claims: If a seat belt malfunctioned or was defectively designed, the manufacturer or designer may be liable for your injuries.
  • Negligence Claims: If another driver’s negligent actions led to the car accident and subsequent seat belt injuries, they may be liable for damages.
  • Comparative Negligence: In some jurisdictions, even if a plaintiff’s negligence contributed to their injuries, they may still be entitled to recover damages. The plaintiff’s percentage of fault might reduce the compensation.

Seat belt injury claims can be complicated. Experienced car accident attorneys can assist individuals through the process and help them pursue the compensation they may be entitled to.

Contact Our Skilled Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. for Personalized Legal Assistance for a Seat Belt Injury

If you or a loved one has suffered seat belt injuries in a car accident, seek legal guidance from our respected Delaware County car accident lawyers at the law firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Submit our online form or call 267-861-7100 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.