Butler County seat belt injury attorneys know that seat belts save lives. This is a fact and this is why it is important to always buckle up, even when driving a short distance. Depending on the type of vehicle and the location of the occupant at the time of the accident, it is reported that seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injuries in an accident between 45% and 65% for adults. Proper car seats and safety restraints for babies and toddlers reduce the risk of fatal injuries in an accident between 54% and 71%. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation estimates that if people had worn seat belts in every car accident that occurred on Pennsylvania roads in 2017, 350 lives would have been saved and 732 fewer people would have suffered serious injuries in car accidents. Unfortunately, however, sometimes seat belts do cause serious injuries in automobile accidents.
Seat belt injuries not always immediately recognized
Even though seat belts do save lives and they also save people from serious injuries, sometimes they also cause serious injuries in high impact car accidents. Seat belt injuries can be life threatening and sometimes fatal, especially when seat belt injuries are not immediately diagnosed. Sometimes seat belt injuries are obvious and diagnosed immediately, but other times there are not significant outward symptoms such as seatbelt marks or complaints from injury victims. This may be because sometimes seatbelt injury symptoms are not noticed right away because of a delayed onset of symptoms or because the injury victim’s attention is on other serious injuries he or she has suffered. Other times, medical professionals fail to recognize the symptoms and as a result, fail to diagnose and treat the patient.
Types of seat belt injuries
Seat belts can cause different types of injuries including the following:
- Broken ribs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other back and neck injuries including whiplash
- Perforated bowels
- Internal bleeding
- Bladder damage
- Lung damage
- Heart damage
- Broken bones
- Sternum injuries
- Head injuries
Seat Belt defects
Other injuries are caused when seatbelts are defective and malfunction during an accident. Seat Belt failures can turn what would have been mild or moderate injuries into debilitating or fatal injuries. Injuries sustained when a seatbelt fails are often caused by passengers being thrown around inside a vehicle or ejected from the vehicle due to not having a functioning seat belt restraint. Seat belts save lives, but when they are relied on to work and they do not, they can also ruin lives.
Seat belt injury liability
When it comes to liability for seat belt injuries, it is similar to automobile accident liability. The person or entity that caused the accident is typically liable for seat belt injuries, however, there are sometimes other liable parties such as medical professionals and those responsible for defective seat belts. If a medical professional fails to properly treat or diagnose seat belt injuries, the medical professional may be liable. If a seat belt failure caused the injuries, the manufacturer or seller of the defective vehicle may be responsible.