For many years, car drivers and passengers were never required by law to wear seatbelts. Slowly, evidence grew that there were more injuries in vehicle accidents as a result of occupants failing to wear them. Legislation was eventually put in place to force everyone to wear a seatbelt.
However, not all of us are sensible and some of us often fail to belt up while in a vehicle and we suffer the consequences of a rear end or head on collision, as we are lurched out of our seats and hit the windshield or dashboard.
Generally, seatbelts are safe devices to use while travelling from place to place but on occasions the security of the users are threatened when they fail. A person can be thrown, without warning, into the windshield with no time to brace to lessen the impact. Injuries from this type of event could be life threatening or even fatal.
Typical seat belt defects are:
- A malfunctioning spool that normally allows the seatbelt to remain slack and not too tight.
- Buckles that are prone to fall open easily.
- Belt material that rips on impact.
- Poor designs used for lap-only belts that fail to hold users in place.
- Faulty shoulder belts that can cause spine or neck injuries.
Our expectations of seat belt standards
All users of seat belts expect to be held in place if the driver has to apply brakes suddenly, or veers to avoid another vehicle or a rear end or front collision takes place without warning. The resultant injuries that could take place if the individual is expecting the seat belt to do the job of protection and it doesn’t then the user is far more likely to lurch forward without bracing for the impending impact. The outcome of such an impact could be far more severe than for someone who was not wearing a seat belt at all.
If you have suffered an injury due to a defective seat belt you are entitled by law to put in a claim for compensation from the manufacturer of the seat belt as the accident was not your fault. This payment is to cover you for medical expenses, loss of wages, and undue suffering that result from an accident that was not your fault. A seat belt injury lawyer should be contacted to discuss your situation and knows only too well the financial and physical suffering that a victim, like yourself, has to endure as a result of an injury that was not expected.
Compensation can help to put your life back in order
It could mean a long stay in hospital and the burden of associated medical costs. There might be a long recovery period at home where your family’s routine is disrupted while you are being cared for. This is the time when a compensation payment will help to relieve the burden while life gets back to normal.
If you have had an accident in which you have received injuries from a defective seat belt, then the sooner you contact a well experienced and dedicated accident lawyer the better. Your own memory will be fresher; witnesses can be contacted; a technical inspection of the seat belt and medical records can be documented. It is much more likely that your lawyer will be able to win a better compensation package for you when the claim is put in as quickly as possible.