Seat Belt Defects or Failure
Seat belt campaigns including “Click it or ticket” and “Seatbelts save lives” all show the utmost importance of wearing one’s seatbelt. While seat belts can be one of the most important safety features within a vehicle, a defective seat belt can result in the very thing that the device intended to prevent. Seat belt failures can result in severe injury and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective seat belt, you may be entitled to compensation. We encourage you to contact our experienced Nashville defective seat belt injury attorneys at The Higgins Firm with any questions that you may have.How Are Seat Belts Supposed To Prevent Passenger Injury?
In a car accident, there are typically two collisions. The first collision occurs when the vehicle strikes the other object. The second collision occurs when the vehicle occupant collides with either an object like the dashboard in the car or even another passenger. Seat belts are designed to prevent the second collision from occurring.
The seat belt holds your body close to the seat preventing you from moving forward during a collision. Most seat belts have a three-point harness system that includes a lap belt and a shoulder strap. In addition, most seat belts also have a retractor system that locks the seat belt’s movement. The locking mechanism helps to hold the passenger in place in the seat when triggered by the car’s movement or seat belt movement. However, a failure in any part of these seat belt systems can result in harm to the passenger.What Causes Seat Belt Failure?
There are a number of things that can result in seat belt defects or failure. Causes of seat belt failure may include but are not limited to:
- Manufacturing and assembly errors and defects
- False latch: when it appears that the latch has been completely inserted into the buckle, but the lock is not indeed secure
- Faulty material used in the seat belt webbing
- Defective design
- Detaching from the seat belt anchor points and mounts
- Retracting error: creating too much slack in the belt
- Lack or three point harness: lap belts are found in older vehicles
- Accidental unlatching of the buckle: flying objects or sheer force can cause the buckle to unlatch
While the velocity of the vehicle collision and the nature of seat belt failure play a role in the type of injury, defective seat belts can directly cause or exacerbate injuries. A wide range of injuries from the minor cuts and bruises to the severe spinal cord injuries can result from seat belt failure. Common injuries from seat belt defects or failure can include but are not limited to:
- Fractured bones
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injury
It is all too common for a person who is injured by a seat belt to initially not realize the seat belt contributed to their injuries. For this reason, it is important to ensure the vehicle is not taken or destroyed by the insurance company. Failure to secure the vehicle and its contents could result in the inability to prove the seatbelt caused you harm.
If possible, secure the vehicle and seat belt following a car accident. This can help you, or your seat belt defect lawyer in Tennessee to preserve proof of what happened. If you are past this opportunity, and your car is gone, we would encourage you to still call The Higgins Firm.
It is not uncommon for a vehicle manufacturer to argue that it was the occupant's failure to preserve the car. Thus, they should not be able to use the defective seatbelt as a means to defeat the claim.
As a defective seat belt lawyer might tell you, these cases typically require expertise and skill. Manufacturers often have teams of lawyers, engineers, and other professionals on their side. It is important you have the right lawyer on your side too.
Not all lawyers can handle these kinds of claims. Following through with a comprehensive investigation, and preserving evidence is absolutely crucial. The Higgins Firm has the necessary resources and experience to fight defective seat belt claims. We will help you to protect your rights and interests.
The Higgins Firm Can Help You with a Defective Seat Belt Claim You or a loved one may have been injured by a defective seat belt. If so, we encourage you to contact our experienced Nashville personal injury lawyer. At The Higgins Firm, we are happy to answer any questions that you may have related to your seat belt failure. We want to help you get the compensation that you deserve for the injuries that you have suffered.
Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.