Orange County Seat Belt Injury Attorneys
Helping Those Injured by Their Seat Belts
The seat belt is a key safety feature that all cars have. They hold us in place during an accident, ensuring that we don’t fly out the window, hit our heads on the roof, or slam into the seat in front of us. Many lives have been saved due to the invention of the seat belt, but that doesn’t mean they are completely safe. Seat belt injuries and seat belt malfunctions are incredibly common in severe car accidents, and they often result in debilitating damage.
As skilled auto accident and auto defect attorneys, we at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie have seen time and time again how difficult these injuries can be for our clients to recover from. The medical bills seem impossibly high and the emotional trauma associated with such injuries can leave you feeling like you’re drowning. There is hope, however. We want to help, and if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, then our dedicated legal team of Orange County seat belt injury attorneys may be able to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (949) 752-7474, so that we can give you the helping hand you need.
Common Seat Belt Malfunctions
Auto defects are a common issue that many drivers have to contend with. Cars are complicated machines, and any number of key parts can be installed incorrectly or manufactured poorly. The same is true about seat belts. There are a number of seat belt malfunctions that you could experience during an accident, all of which could cost you your life.
False latching: When a seat belt false latches, it seems like it has been secured properly when it actually hasn’t clipped in at all. Any level of force could cause the seat belt to come undone, leading to the wearer being thrown from their seat during an accident.
Webbing tears: Seat belts are made from a tough webbing designed to keep its shape and stand up to high levels of force. If this webbing is made poorly, it can snap or tear, leaving the seat belt useless.
Anchor failure: Made famous by the 1995 Chrysler recall, an anchor failure is when the piece that holds the seat belt latch in place, otherwise known as the anchor, releases when it is not supposed to. This could mean that the seat belt must be inserted at exactly the right angle, or it could cause false latching.
If your seat belt failed during an accident, and you suffered debilitating injuries as a result, then you are fully within your right to file a personal injury claim against the liable party. Seat belt failures can result in disastrous injuries. However, it is important to remember that seat belts have the potential to be dangerous even when they are functioning properly.
When Seat Belts Become Dangerous
A seat belt’s job is to restrain the passenger’s body. This restraint helps keep the passenger inside the car and in a safe position. However, seat belts, even when functioning exactly how they were designed to, can still cause serious injuries. When a car collides with another vehicle or with a fixed object, an incredible amount of force is exerted during the impact. The force can pass through your body if the seatbelt is too tight, causing serious harm. This can result in:
- Broken and cracked bones, particularly the ribs and collar bones
- Organ damage
- Punctured lungs
- Internal bleeding
- Spine damage
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
None of this is to say that seat belts are not a key safety feature. They help protect passengers from suffering fatal injuries and keep them in as safe of a position as is currently possible. However, their design can still cause catastrophic injuries to the wearer. These kinds of injuries can cost you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. That isn’t even counting the painful psychological scars they will leave behind. Recovering from an accident can be next to impossible without proper compensation, and getting compensation begins with determining who is liable.
Seat Belt Injuries and Product Liability Claims
When it comes to seat belts injuries, there are many potentially liable parties. It will depend on how your accident happened and whether your seat belt functioned properly. If your seat belt didn’t malfunction, then the party responsible for your accident would be liable for your seat belt related injuries. For example, if your accident was due to a drunk driver, then that driver is liable for your accident and any related injuries.
On the other hand, if your seat belt was defective, then you may be able to bring a case against either your vehicle’s mechanic or the manufacturer of the seat belt itself in a product liability claim.
Mechanics are expected to inform you about any obvious issues they notice and ask whether you want them to be repaired. If they neglect to tell you about potential defects or simply don’t do their due diligence in inspecting your vehicle, then they could be liable for issues they should have caught.
Similarly, manufacturers are expected to test their components and ensure that they work properly. If they do not run tests or ignore any failures of said tests and sell their goods anyway, then they should be held responsible for their negligence. Of course, no matter the liable party, your ability to recover compensation will rely on the skill of your attorney.
Call Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie for Skilled Legal Help
Car accidents, especially ones that result in serious seat belt injuries, can be devastating. The trauma of becoming so catastrophically injured and losing control over your vehicle could last you a lifetime. Trying to heal from that trauma while also filing a claim and get the compensation you not only need, but deserve, can seem next to impossible. That is why we at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie want to do the heavy lifting for you. Call our firm at (949) 752-7474 and get the support you need from dedicated Orange County auto accident attorneys.
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