By design, seat belts were created to help protect vehicle occupants during a collision. In fact, a report released by the National Safety Council, it was stated that seat belts reduce the risk of death by more than 45 percent.
However, while seat belts are utilized to prevent injury and death in the event of a collision, it’s important to note that in some instances, a seat belt restraint can escalate the injuries associated with a driver or passenger that is involved in a car or truck crash.
With auto accidents being the leading cause of death for those 5-34 years of age, in the upcoming year, it is anticipated that one in five drivers will be involved in a motor vehicle collision throughout the U.S.
Here in our state of Alabama, motor vehicle crashes are acknowledged as the leading cause of death for persons aged between 1-34 years, with the average Alabama driver having a 54.1 percent probability that they will be involved in some sort of injury or fatal collision in their lifetime while operating a vehicle.
With these statistics in mind, there are times that the impact forces involved in a car accident can cause serious seat belt related injuries to those involved. If you or a loved one may have suffered seat belt injuries following a crash, we can help.
To learn more, simply fill out the “Free Case Review” form located to the right.
Seat Belt Injury Facts
Unlike many of the common damages associated with motor vehicle crashes, seat belt injuries can take several days to appear. In fact, some of the symptoms of a safety belt injury are undetectable to the human eye.
With a traffic crash injury occurring approximately every 15 seconds and a traffic fatality every 13 minutes, understanding the potential risks associated with seat belts following an automobile crash is imperative.
A few of the most fascinating seat belt injury facts include:
- In 30 percent of cases, skin abrasions of the neck, chest, and abdomen indicate internal injury
- Lap seat belts are commonly associated with injury to the spine
- The diagonal belt and the combination lap-and-diagonal belt are known to produce injuries to the ribs, sternum, and upper abdomen
- Improper use of the seat belt increases the risk of potential damage
Passengers, especially children, often wear their safety belts incorrectly, increasing the likelihood that a seat belt injury will occur in an accident.
The Different Types Of Seat Belt Designs
Due to the evolution of car safety design, there have been many developments and refinements in the way that drivers and passengers are restrained in their vehicles. During this time, there have been 5 main types of seatbelt designs that have been used – or are being used – in vehicles on the roads today.
That list includes:
- 3 Point (lap / sash combination and inertia reel designs)
- Belt In Seat (B.I.S)
- 4, 5 & 6 Point Harness
With each design being created after auto manufacturers began performing a great amount of research into accident energy dispersion and overall occupant safety, it’s important to note that while seat belts are designed with safety in mind, they can also be the source of a serious injury in the event of a collision.
Signs of Seat Belt Related Injuries
About 75 percent of Alabama auto accidents occur within 25 miles of home and on roads with a maximum speed of 40 mph or less. While these statistics may shock some, the greater surprise usually comes in the amount of injuries one may endure as a result of a seat belt.
The most common seat belt signs include, but are not limited to:
- Abdomen Pain: if you are feeling pain between your hips and ribs, you may have experienced kidney damage from the safety belt.
- Bleeding: blood present in urine or stool may indicate the compression of organs, which can cause internal damage.
- Breathing Complications: the pressure of the accident impact may cause damage to the heart or lungs; this would be indicated by difficulty in breathing.
- Stiff Neck: a common result of car accidents, whiplash can occur and may indicate a spinal cord injury.
- Weakness: following a collision, either one of or both of the victims’ legs may feel weak; this may indicate damage to lower back, abdomen, and/or spinal nerves.
Understanding the symptoms associated with seal belt damage is vital. If you believe you may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Motor vehicle crash severity varies dependent upon many factors, however, there are quite a few injuries that are generally associated with seat belt malfunction, improper wear, or high impact.
Some of the most common seat belt injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Bone Fractures / Broken Bones
- Brain Injury
- Head Injury
- Internal Organ Damage
- Spinal Cord Injury
In many cases, the costs involved during the recovery and rehabilitation from these types of injuries can be crushing for many families. Here at the Citrin Law Firm, we understand the financial strain that many families endure after an accident, and can help to fight for compensation for these losses.
Need Help? Contact Our Accident Attorneys Today
For decades our Alabama-based seat belt injury attorneys have been helping injury victims throughout Alabama and are ready to help you today. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or property damage due to an auto accident that was caused by the negligence of another motorist, we can help.
Having won over $40 MILLION in successful verdicts and settlements for our clients, at Citrin Law we strongly believe that irresponsible drivers must be held both responsible and accountable for their actions.
With our primary office located in Mobile AL, we proudly provide affordable, comprehensive legal counsel to injury victims throughout:
- Mobile County
- Baldwin County
- Coastal Alabama
- The Mississippi Gulf Cost
…. and also many areas in the panhandle of Florida.
To learn more about how we can help you – or to schedule a no-obligation consultation, contact us today at 251-888-8888. A member of our staff will answer your call and after asking for some initial information about the nature of your inquiry, you will be connected to one of our attorneys that is best suited to handle your case.
Alternatively, simply fill out the “Free Case Review” form at the top of this page.