Seatbelts are extremely effective at reducing the severity of injuries, and preventing fatalities resulting from serious car accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injuries by 45 percent. However, a seatbelt can also cause injuries, particularly if the force of impact from the collision was extreme. While this is certainly not a reason to stop wearing a seatbelt, whether you are behind the wheel, in the passenger seat, or in the back seat, you may be eligible for financial compensation if the other driver was at fault for causing the accident. An experienced car wreck lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, and pursue the maximum financial settlement that you deserve for your injuries.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Seatbelt Injuries?
In addition to holding passengers in place, and preventing them from being ejected from the vehicle in the event of a car accident, they also dissipate the force of the impact to the strongest parts of the body, including the clavicle, chest wall, and superior pelvis. However, the seatbelt itself can cause injuries if it is not positioned properly, is misused, or does not fit correctly. The following are additional causes of potentially serious seatbelt injuries:
- The vehicle was traveling at a high speed at the time of the accident.
- The seatbelt was defective, or malfunctioned.
- The seatbelt was buckled too tightly.
- A child is not secured in the appropriate car seat for their age and weight.
- The accident was catastrophic.
What Are Examples of Seatbelt Injuries?
Unfortunately, seatbelts can cause a range of injuries, the severity of which will depend on a number of factors, including how fast you and the other vehicle involved were traveling, the size of the other vehicle involved, and whether you and the other passengers in the vehicle were wearing the seatbelt properly. The following are examples of possible seatbelt injuries that can occur in a car accident:
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Tears to the muscles, tendons, and connective tissue
- Fractured ribs, vertebrae, and other bones in the area of impact
- Internal bleeding
- Shoulder injuries
- Chest injuries
- Disc injuries
- Organ damage
What Damages Am I Entitled to If I Suffered a Seatbelt Injury?
If the other driver involved in the accident was at-fault, you can file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation from the at-fault motorist. If the seatbelt injury was caused by a defective seatbelt, the seatbelt manufacturer may be liable for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver and the seatbelt manufacturer. It is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer, particularly if there are multiple defendants involved in the case. A dedicated car accident lawyer will review the details of your case, and pursue the maximum financial damages you deserve, including:
- Medical expenses associated with your injury
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Seatbelt?
While seatbelt injuries do happen, the benefits of wearing a seatbelt clearly outweigh any risks. The following statistics support the use of seatbelts, whether your are the driver, the front seat passenger, or riding in the back seat:
- Front seat drivers and passengers reduce the risk of serious injuries by 50 percent when they wear a seatbelt. The risk of fatal injuries is reduced by 45 percent.
- You are 30 times more likely to be ejected from your vehicle during an accident if you are not wearing a seatbelt. Seventy-five percent of passengers who are ejected from the vehicle suffered fatal injuries.
- Men who do not wear a seatbelt are more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a car accident than women.
- Roughly 4,000 lives could be saved each year if all passengers wore a seatbelt.
Savannah Car Wreck Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Victims of Seatbelt Injuries
If you suffered a seatbelt injury in a car accident that was caused by another motorist, do not hesitate to contact the Savannah car wreck lawyers at Kicklighter Law. We will review the details of your case to determine who is liable for your injuries. Our dedicated legal team will assist you with every step of the claims process and negotiate the financial settlement that you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Our office is located in Springfield, Georgia where we serve clients from Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas.