Statistics prove seat belts save lives. However, when these devices are defective or poorly designed, they may cause severe injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a faulty seat belt, it is important to seek legal assistance.
Common Seat Belt Malfunctions
During an accident, it is possible for a faulty seat belt to unlatch. Testing has shown high forces of an accident may cause a latch to release. Even though an occupant properly belts before an accident, a police officer may note the opposite. Cases frequently include a surviving occupant who insists he or she was belted correctly but fell victim to defects.
Other cases of seat belt defects are tearing and ripping. A seat belt should never tear or rip as a result of an accident. This device is made to withstand great forces. Torn webbing is commonly due to a manufacturing flaw or defect.
Refractor failure is another problem. A seat belt contains a refractor that locks in place to hold an occupant steady. When this refractor does not lock properly, extra belt material is allowed to slack, which does not provide adequate protection during a crash. This is especially dangerous in frontal collisions. A person sitting in the front seat may be forced through the windshield. A design defect, also known as “skipping,” commonly causes refractor failure.
An incorrectly designed or placed seat belt may cause injury as well. If a car designer places a buckle in a poor location that makes it impossible to adequately fit an occupant, injury may occur. This is often the case when designers care more about interior aesthetics than safety.
Injuries Related to Defective Seat Belts
Thankfully, many faulty seat belt injuries are minor and cause scrapes and bruises. Defective shoulder straps may also cause harm to the neck, shoulder, or sternum. Fractures and dislocations may result as well. In severe cases, a person may suffer extensive internal or spinal cord injuries.
Who is Responsible for Compensation?
When a malfunctioning or poorly designed seat belt leads to injury, it is vital to seek adequate compensation from the vehicle’s manufacturer, auto retailer, supply company, or seat belt distributor. Injuries may cause expensive medical bills and loss of income. It is vital to make the guilty parties pay for their negligence.
Contact the Doan Law Firm
The Doan Law Firm has years of experience litigating personal injury and product liability cases. We understand the devastation caused by seat belt defects and strive to bring justice to innocent victims. There are no fees unless we win and our team of experienced attorneys are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case. For a free phone consultation, call our office at (800) 349-0000.
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