The evidence is overwhelming: seat belts save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 15,000 American lives are saved by seat belts each year. Many thousands more people avoid serious injuries by using a safety belt. Given how greatly drivers and passengers depend on them, the impact of a faulty seat belt can be devastating.
If a motor vehicle accident occurs and you’re wearing a seat belt, you should be able to trust that your safety belt will work properly. Manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure that the seat belts installed in automobiles are safe and effective. Yet sadly, in far too many cases, defective seat belts fail to properly protect crash victims.
At DC Law, our Austin seat belt failure lawyers know how to hold negligent companies and parties liable. If you or a family member were injured in a crash and the seat belt failed to work correctly, we are here to help. Please contact our law office for free, fully confidential legal guidance.
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We Represent Victims of Defective Seat Belts in Product Liability Lawsuits
Automakers and seat belt manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that the safety devices that they put into vehicles work properly. Safety belts should always work in accordance with the industry standards established by regulators and Texas common law. If you or your loved one was involved in a crash — and injuries occur or were made worse by a defective seat belt — all negligent companies involved in the manufacture, installation, and sale of the product should be identified and held liable for their share of the misconduct.
Defective seat belt claims are complicated. In these cases, it is crucial that the seat belt failure, and the extent to which it caused or exacerbated a victim’s injuries, is determined. This requires an in-depth investigation. Through a product liability claim, injured victims can seek compensation for medical bills and related expenses, lost current and future wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, long-term disability, and the wrongful death of a family member.
Seat Belt Injury Causes
While seat belts are life-saving devices, they do not prevent all injuries and may even cause injuries themselves. The NHTSA estimates that over 15,000 seat belt injuries occur every year. Seat belt injuries can be caused or worsened by:
- Accident severity
- Exceptionally tight restraints
- Safety belt malfunction
- Improper placement
- Manufacturer defect
More specifically, some of the most common issues that cause modern seat belts to fail include:
- Sudden unlatching of the device during a crash
- Use of weak material that tears during a collision
- Electronic/sensor problems
When key components of a vehicle are faulty, the results can be catastrophic. Details such as airbags, auto glass, and seat belts can be the difference between life and death if you’re in a car accident.
Types of Seat Belt Injuries
Seat belts can cause serious injuries such as:
- Abdominal Injuries – The tightening of a seat belt during an accident can cause bruising to the skin and muscles of the abdomen.
- Shoulder Injuries – Seat belts can tear the tendons and muscle fibers in your shoulder.
- Rib and Chest Injuries – The cross strap of a seat belt can cause bruising on your rib cage or even break your ribs in a severe accident.
- Intestinal Injuries – Should an impact be hard enough, seat belts can even cause your internal organs to rupture.
- Spinal Injuries – Seat belts can cause chance fractures on the spine, most commonly in the lumbar region.
- Lacerations and burns – In a forceful impact, the thin but tough material of seat belts can cause cuts and burns to the skin.
At DC Law, our Austin product liability attorneys have the skills and experience required to handle seat belt failure lawsuits. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a seat belt failure, we will help you hold the negligent manufacturer accountable.
To schedule a free, fully confidential review of your product liability claim, please contact our law firm at today by calling (512) 888-9999.