What if a defective seat belt made my crash injuries worse?

man_and_seat beltMany people are injured every year because the features of their vehicles failed to perform effectively. If you suffered significant injuries because of a defective auto part, you may be able to hold the carmaker liable.

The Widespread Problem of Defective Seat Belts

Seat belts are incredibly effective in minimizing bodily harm in a crash. When these devices fail, injuries are much worse and may prove fatal, even at low speeds. Drivers and passengers can suffer whiplash, internal injuries, chest trauma, or even be ejected from the vehicle if the seat belt doesn't restrain them properly.

Many vehicle manufacturers have come under fire for defective seat belts that have caused a number of problems, including:

  • Defective latches. Poorly-made seat belts may unbuckle suddenly with light pressure, upon impact, or when the strap is pulled.
  • Inadequate straps. Cheaply-constructed belts are more likely to develop rips and tears in the straps, causing a lack of tension that can result in injuries.
  • Design problems. Some seat belts aren't designed in a way that will adequately protect a user. Belts that create gaps due to buckle placement or don't restrain the torso may suffer from defective design.
  • Inadequate passive restraints. Passive restraints are devices that automatically slide down over the rider’s shoulder when the door is closed. These are meant to work in conjunction with lap belts, but they can still cause significant upper body trauma when they fail in an accident.
  • Tension failure. Seat belts automatically tighten with hard braking or when the vehicle strikes an object. The belt should contract long enough to restrain the user during impact with another vehicle as well as the secondary impact of striking objects within the car. Faulty devices may not place enough tension in the belt, release tension too early, or constrict so tightly they impair breathing or prevent escape from a damaged vehicle.

If your injuries were made worse by a defective seatbelt, you may be able file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or automaker, even if your insurance already covered some costs of the crash. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our car accident attorneys.