Seat Belt Defects and MalfunctionsSeat belts protect you from being ejected from the car, thrown through the window, or dislodged from your seat. As long as you stay relatively stationary, the airbags can safely deploy and prevent you from banging into anything during the impact. For the most part, seat belts are extremely safe and are a critical and crucial aspect of injury prevention in automobile accidents. However, there are many ways for seat belts to malfunction. The issues can cause individuals to suffer great injuries, even permanent damage, as they would not be protected at all in the event of a crash. In other cases, the seat belts can actually cause injuries, which may be attributed more to errors with the design of the belt than a normal malfunction or defect. A few of the types of malfunctions include:
- Strangulation risks, which occur when a seat belt is fitted too high up on the vehicle and stretches across the neck too tightly. Seat belts should go across the shoulder and chest, not the bottom of the neck or chin. In the event of a crash, the belts can cause strangulation, lacerations, friction burns, and more.
- Excess slack or spool, which is the amount of seat belt leftover that is not taut or used when the belt is buckled. This can cause there to be no safety at all, as your body will simply move without any resistance from the belt.
- Broken belt buckles, which may not have the proper screws to hold them together or may not have teeth that are properly outfitted for the slots.
- Feeble fabric, which may tear or rip during a crash. If the fabric of the seat belt is not sturdy, it can rip away and not protect you, leading to severe injuries.
- Latch defects, which occur when the belt does not catch in the latch and is not properly secured. It may look secured or even feel tight, but a small jerk or impact could completely dislodge the belt, rendering you helpless when an accident happens.
- Computer problems, which are rare given that not many vehicles have computer systems that control the seat belts. However, in some vehicles, these are viable options. If the computer malfunctions or has a bug, the seat belt could fail to properly work.
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.These seat belt defects should not be ignored if you find them prior to an accident, and if they are the primary cause of your injuries in a crash, you should sue the automobile company responsible for creating the car with such troubles. Our team of seat belt failure attorneys can help. You may not be alone in your incident. If one car has such defects, it is likely that more models will as well. You can join a class action lawsuit if other people are hurt because of the defective seat belts.
Injuries from Defective Seat BeltsIf your seat belt malfunctions, you could suffer a number of severe damages that may otherwise not have happened. You could have been launched into the steering wheel or through the windshield, or the seat belt could have cut into you. Some of the injuries that you could suffer due to a broken seat belt include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Brain damage
- Closed head injuries
- Facial damages
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord damage and herniated or slipped discs
- Internal organ damage
- Severed limbs and digits
- Crushing injuries
- Puncture wounds
Filing a Class Action LawsuitIn most cases, you can simply gather your evidence and submit it to the insurance company with a demand letter to pursue compensation for your damages. If you wish to file a class action claim, your evidence will be assembled and added to a larger pile, which will include evidence and proof from numerous other parties. These different parties will have suffered the same or very similar situations with the defective seat belts; they may have been greatly injured from a torn belt or it may never have properly latched. No matter what the choice, your evidence should consist of the following:
- Medical records, paramedic notes, medical bills, and anything else that you could hold on to as a result of your treatment
- Pictures of the crash and the seat belt, including any defects, tears, or issues
- Pictures of your injuries and damages you suffered
- Passenger statements or testimonies
- Mechanic estimates or statements
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Compensation From A Defective Seat Belt Class Action ClaimA class action lawsuit against a car company can result in a large settlement or verdict. The only trouble is that the money will be disseminated amongst the numerous plaintiffs. Therefore, if a 10 million dollar verdict is reached, but there are 1,000 individuals taking legal action, everyone would receive only $10,000. This may not be enough to pay off some expenses, while it may be more than enough for others. If you wish to pursue a larger claim that is not shared, you can opt out of the class action lawsuit. We will strive to bring you the maximum compensation available, including coverage for the following:
- Medical bills from the past and future
- Lost income and wages from the past and future
- Property damage
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages