Advocating for Accident Victims Throughout Denver
The seat belt is one of the greatest safety features ever invented for the automobile. Without it, thousands of people would be killed or severely injured every year in car accidents. In fact, it has been found to be so efficient at keeping drivers safe that many states, including Colorado, legally require that both drivers and passengers wear one when on the road.
Sadly, auto defects do happen, and seat belts can fail, leading to traumatic injuries. Even worse, seat belts working exactly as they are meant to can still cause serious harm. At Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we firmly believe that auto manufacturers should be held to high standards when creating safety equipment. Our Denver seat belt injury attorneys have seen just devastating these injuries can be and work hard to get our clients the compensation they need to recover. If you have suffered a seat belt-related injury, call our firm at (303) 502-5587 to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Common Seat Belt Malfunctions
The seat belt was designed to keep people fixed in place during a car accident. The invention revolutionized driving and made it a much safer form of transportation. However, like with all auto products, defects can pop up. Defective auto parts are a plague on the industry and can occur as a result of faulty designs or poor manufacturing. What ever the cause, there is nothing more dangerous than a seat belt that doesn’t work properly.
Seat belts can malfunction in several different ways, including:
False latching: When you put your seat belt on, you have to clip in it. However, with some poor seat belt designs, you may assume that the clip is secure when it is not. With false latching, even the smallest amount of force can cause the clip to come undone and make the belt ineffective in a crash.
Sudden unlatching: The point of a seat belt is to hold a vehicle occupant in place, even when great force is exerted in an accident. However, with a sudden unlatching, the clip can become unfastened during an accident, causing you to be flung forward.
Anchor defect: The anchor, or where the seat belt connects with the car, must be placed in the right positions in order for the seat belt to function properly. If placed in the wrong spots, the seat belt could be too loose or too tight, causing injury. Furthermore, if the anchors are not strong enough, the seat belt could snap.
Webbing rips and tears: The webbing, or strap, of a seat belt is specially designed to be incredibly durable. However, if the strap was improperly made, then it could be too weak to handle a collision.
These are just the most common defects, but there are several more that could impact the safety of your seat belt and the severity of any accident you may find yourself in. A malfunctioning seat belt could easily lead to severe injuries such as brain damage, crush injuries, and spinal cord injuries. If your damages were caused by a malfunctioning seat belt, then you deserve compensation.
Types of Seat Belt Injuries
Of course, not all seat belt injuries are from malfunctions. Even seat belts that work exactly as they are supposed to can cause serious injuries. The three-point seat belt is meant to keep your body in place during an accident. Without it you could be sent flying through the windshield, slamming up against the roof, or flipping over and becoming pinned between seats. That being said, because the seat belt is meant to hold you still, it can also be restrictive, exerting pressure and force onto your chest and abdomen, and potentially causing serious injuries. Common seat belt related damage includes:
A restricting seat belt could easily cause your lung to collapse or some of your ribs to break. That kind of severe injury is extremely difficult to heal from and could prove to be fatal or result in a lifelong disability. After suffering from such a terrible accident, whether your seat belt worked or not, you are likely in the position of wondering just who is going to pay for your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
Who Is Responsible for Seat Belt Injuries?
The liable party will depend on how exactly your injuries happened. Generally, when it comes to seat belt injuries, there are two potential at-fault parties. The first is the manufacturer of the seat belt or the vehicle itself. For example, if the seat belt clip came undone during an accident, and you were flung forward against the dashboard, then the manufacturer would be liable for your injuries because their product malfunctioned.
On the other hand, if your seat belt worked as it was supposed to, but you still sustained injuries, then it would be the person responsible for the accident that is liable for your injuries. This includes if you were a passenger and the driver of the car you were in caused the collision.
However, it is important to remember that both the manufacturer and the at-fault driver can be liable at the same time. If another driver caused your accident and your seat belt failed, then both parties can and should be held responsible. While your seat belt may not have failed without the collision, you may have also not sustained severe injuries if the seat belt had actually worked. Thus, both the malfunction and the accident itself are linked.
Getting the Compensation You Need
Of course, determining who to hold liable can be stressful, confusing, and draining. A proper personal injury claim requires an in-depth investigation, as well as well documented evidence of fault. Going through this process is daunting enough with also having to contend with your severe injuries. That is why our Denver product liability attorneys at Tenge Law Firm, LLC have dedicated our careers to helping those in need. Let us do the heavy lifting for you while you focus on recovering. We offer each potential client a free consultation to discuss their case and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe us a dime unless we win your case. At the end of the day, we do not want to add to your financial stress during a difficult part of your life. For some of the best personal injury aid in Denver, call our firm at (303) 502-5587 today.