Seat Belt Failure
While many of us are counting on the live-saving abilities of our seat belts in the event of a crash, we rarely hear about what happens when seat belts fail. Unfortunately, like just about any mechanical auto part, seat belts can be subject to failure. Since a seat belt is the single most effective piece of safety equipment in the automobile, a failure or defect can be life threatening to passenger occupants. If you suspect a seat belt failure caused your injuries, you need to contact a personal injury attorney with proven product liability case experience as soon as possible after your accident. Additionally, you should also contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and report the incident to the vehicle’s manufacturer. If there was a manufacturing or design defect, the manufacturer will need to conduct an investigation and determine if a recall needs to be initiated. Listed below are some common types of seat belt failure.
Types of Seat Belt Failure
- Inertial unlatching
- Rectractor failure
- No shoulder belt
- Inappropriately mounted
- Faulty design
- Excessive slack
- Faulty manufacturing
- False latching
- Defects in the webbing
- Faulty buckles
Inertial unlatching is probably one of the most catastrophic types of seat belt failures. This happens during a car accident, where there are high speeds and seat belts are put under a tremendous amount of pressure. Instead of holding steady and keeping you in your seat, where you belong, the seat belt will unlatch. This could turn your body into a human missile, and getting ejected from a vehicle during a crash almost always leads to catastrophic or fatal injuries. It’s very hard to survive being ejected from a vehicle during an accident. Human bodies weren’t meant to be shot through windshields. If the impact of a car accident causes inertial unlatching, there was likely a design or manufacturing defect involved with the production of your vehicle.
Defective Design of Seat Belt
Modern seat belts have been designed to be the most geometrically effective at holding passenger occupants in their seats in the event of a car accident. If design or manufacturing defects lead to dangerous or faulty seat belts, lives are at risk for serious injuries or even death. In older model cars, you might see shoulder only seat belts or lap only seat belts. Both of these designs are deficient. It’s critical to have a three-point belt system. It’s the most safe and effective seat belt design available in modern passenger occupant vehicles.
Like any type of consumer product, automobiles and auto parts need to be safe and perform the way they’re designed. If auto parts are defective and public safety is put at risk, manufacturers need to do everything they can, and in a timely manner, to remedy the danger for consumers. Unfortunately, in the past we have seen manufacturers who continually delay and deny design and manufacturing defects. As manufacturers are slow to react and get dangerous products off of the road, consumer safety is put at great risk. After any kind of accident involving seat belt failure, it’s essential to get a personal injury lawyer on your side, who can help to ensure you get the compensation you deserve after a car accident.
Injuries and Expenses Associated With Seat Belt Failure
Depending upon the severity of your crash, you could be looking at anywhere from neck and soft tissue injuries to catastrophic or fatal injuries associated with seat belt failure. Drivers and passengers are counting on seat belts to work in the event of a crash. That’s why we wear them. We don’t wear them for fashion or comfort. We wear them so that if we’re in an accident, they will help protect us and mitigate or prevent serious and life-threatening injuries. The expenses associated with a car accident involving seat belt failure can be astronomical. The initial hospital bill is just the tip of the iceberg, and you could be out of work for who knows how long.
Seat belts are the last line of defense in the event of a car accident, and with more and more distracted drivers taking to the roadways, the last thing you need is a seat belt failure. After any kind of car accident involving a defective or faulty seat belt or auto part, it’s essential to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident involving a seat belt failure in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the skilled and proven Product Liability team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free case consultation today.
$144 Million Death and punitive damages
$120 Million Injuries from dangerous drugs
$20.4 Million Fraud settlement that went to Mississippians
$2.3 Million Brain injury settlement
$2.1 Million Civil rights death
$1.6 Million Fraud settlement for Mississippians
“You were made to do what you do. Know that You make a difference in lives for the better.” - Will A.
“We are so appreciative for everything you've done for us. We don't know how we would've gotten through this without your help and generosity!” - N.B.
“My family and I will always be indebted to you and your staff.” - B.W.