In California, you must wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a vehicle if you are eight years old and above. Sometimes though, the safety belts malfunction. A safety belt malfunction can lead to serious injuries in an accident. The seat belt aims to hold you into position, thus preventing you from colliding with the steering wheel, dashboard, or other hard surfaces. Seat belt failures can result from negligence or manufacturing fault. 

Seat belts save lives by keeping people inside vehicles in the event of a crash. However, they cannot protect you if a seat belt failure occurs. The failure can happen when a belt breaks or the buckle is cracked. Even if you are properly buckled up, you might still be injured in a crash due to seat belt failure. 

It is critical to contact an attorney who can help secure compensation for injuries you suffer from seat belt failure. Your health insurance plan can cover some minor injuries, but if the injury prevents you from working, you will likely be entitled to compensation for your lost wages. But it is important to have an attorney review your case to determine its merit. Your attorney will assess the evidence and determine whether or not seat belt failure qualifies as a compensable injury. 

Have you suffered any injuries as a result of seatbelt failure? You need to contact a car accident lawyer to help you receive your rightful compensation. At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience representing clients seeking compensation benefits in Los Angeles, CA. Please contact us today to speak to any of our highly qualified attorneys.

Statistics On Seat Belt Failure In The United States

In the United, seat belt failure is a prevalent issue. Unfortunately, many people do not realize the seriousness of the situation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately three million people are injured due to seat belt failure, and forty thousand people succumb to their injuries. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released statistics on how often seat belts fail in vehicles used in the United States. The NHTSA keeps track of two categories of seat belt failures, hard and soft. A hard failure is when the belt completely unbuckles, while a soft failure is when the belt comes loose during a crash. The NHTSA reports that in 2015, there were 3,959,000 hard failures and 3,827,000 soft failures in the United States.

Investigating The Cause Of The Accident Through Forensic Investigation

Forensic investigation is the process of gathering and analyzing facts to determine the cause of an accident. It is often used in police investigations but can also be used in vehicle accidents to determine the cause and help determine who is at fault. The purpose of a forensic investigation is to gather as much objective evidence as possible to determine what happened when it happened and how it happened. This helps ensure that the most accurate picture of what happened is presented to the parties involved and the parties that need to know.

One of the most pertinent questions in seatbelt failure investigations is determining if you were wearing the seatbelt at the time of the accident. Forensic experts will investigate and determine if the seatbelt indeed failed or you were not wearing one at the time of the accident.  

Types Of Injuries You Can Suffer As A Result Of Seat Belt Failure

Seat belts are important safety measures in a vehicle. However, you can sustain serious injuries if they malfunction when you are involved in an accident. You can sustain head, chest, abdominal, spinal cord, and internal organ damage. 

According to experts, a car accident happens in several phases. The first phase is when your vehicle hits another vehicle or another object. The second phase happens when the vehicle's occupants hit objects inside or outside due to the impact. Most cases of injuries occur in the second phase. The purpose of the seat belt is to protect you from the impact of hitting objects during an accident. 

A seat belt failure can have negative repercussions in your life. You can sustain life-threatening injuries which can alter the course of your life. The injuries can prevent you from performing everyday tasks. They can also prevent you from ever working again.

Defective seat belts can cause spine, head, abdomen, extremities, and chest injuries. You may also suffer from internal bleeding, internal organ damage, and pinched nerves, among other similar injuries. The intensity of the injury depends on the impact of the accident, the injured organs, and the time that passed before you sought medical attention. Below are the types of injuries you can sustain after a seat belt failure. 


  • Punctured Lungs


Punctured lungs or pneumothorax is a deadly condition. The condition develops when one or more of your ribs break or a sharp object puncture the lung. Your lung deflates when this happens, and it collapses, making it impossible to breathe. You will require immediate medical attention if you are to recover from pneumothorax. 


  • Your Brain Starts To Bleed.


Brain hemorrhaging or brain bleeding is one of the most critical injuries you can suffer after a car accident caused by seat belt failure. The injury is very unpredictable and thus difficult to treat. When the brain bleeds, it does not receive enough oxygen. The lack of enough oxygen can cause some brain parts to die. If they die, you can suffer brain impairment. The impairment can lead to speech loss, sight loss, or proper limb coordination. 


  • Internal Bleeding 


You can also suffer internal bleeding as a result of the accident. Internal bleeding happens when the blood vessels break, and blood flows uncontrollably into the internal organs. Some signs of internal hemorrhaging include dizziness, paleness, feeling cold, and other similar symptoms. You should seek immediate medical attention if you are involved in a car accident, no matter its magnitude. 


  • Abdominal Bleeding


The blood flows to your lower abdomen via the abdominal aorta. The crash of this crucial blood vessel during the accident may lead to the loss of blood supply to the lower part of your body. The injury may be fatal if you do not receive treatment on time.  


  • Spleen Rapture


Another possible injury you may sustain during the accident caused by seat belt failure is a ruptured spleen. You need immediate medical attention if you suffer from this injury. In most cases, you will need an operation to treat the condition.


  • You Can Sustain Spinal Injuries.


You can also sustain spinal injuries during the accident. This type of injury can affect your limb coordination and lead to paralysis. You may need to undergo surgery and intensive physiotherapy to regain the use of your legs and feet.  


  • Other Medical Conditions You May Suffer As A Result Of The Accident


You may also suffer a myriad of injuries due to the accident. These injuries include fractures and dislocations, concussions, extreme whiplash, and cuts, among other similar injuries. 

Can You File A Lawsuit Against The Liable Party For Seat Belt Failure In California?

Seat belt failure can result from different factors, including improper installation, age, and material defects. You can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of a defective product. The first step in filing a product liability lawsuit is to contact a car accident attorney specializing in this type of litigation. The attorney will review your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they will file the liability suit on your behalf.

The court must establish who is liable for the seat belt failure before the judge awards you compensation. The prosecution can find you liable for the injury if you failed to maintain the seat belt. The court can also find the car manufacturer liable for the offense if it is a design problem.

The court will decide on the liability of the seat belt failure after considering various factors, including:

  • The type of seat belt failure.
  • The age of the car.
  • The age of the seat belt.
  • The way you used the seat belt.
  • Whether you were wearing a seat belt or not.
  • Whether you were driving or not.
  • Whether the seat belt was working properly or not

The seat belt is a safety device that restrains the vehicle's occupants in an accident. The seat belt is attached to the vehicle's frame or door and is designed to prevent the occupant from being thrown out of the vehicle during an accident. The seat belt also prevents the occupant from hitting hard objects inside or outside the vehicle during a crash.

The seat belts comprise several components, including a metal buckle, webbing strap, and retractor mechanism. The metal buckle is attached to one end of the webbing strap, while the other end has a metal tongue that fits into the buckle. The retractor mechanism holds both ends of the webbing strap together so that you can pull it out when needed but will automatically retract when you release the mechanism by pressing a button on either side of it.

If you are involved in an accident, the impact may throw you forward with great force. The purpose of the seat belt is to prevent you from hitting the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. The seat belt will also prevent you from being thrown out of the vehicle during an accident.

Understanding Who Is Liable For A Seatbelt Failure In California

In product liability law, a product is anything you intend to use as a consumer to meet a particular need or achieve a particular goal. It can be a tangible good, such as a seat belt or a mobile phone. It can also be a service, such as an insurance premium. When a product causes harm, such as personal injury or property damage, you may file a lawsuit against the company that made the product, the company that sold the product, or both. In case of a faulty seat belt, you can sue the car manufacturer or distributor, or both for damages. 

For example, in a recent case,  the court found California car manufacturer Acme liable for a seatbelt failure that caused a passenger to be ejected from the vehicle, despite being in a different state at the time of the crash. The court held that Acme was liable for the failure of its seatbelt under the state's warranty laws. Acin, the passenger, had been riding in an Acme car when she was ejected due to seat belt failure. She was injured in the crash and has since filed a products liability lawsuit against Acme.

The court must establish who is liable for the seat belt failure before the judge awards you compensation. In most cases, the manufacturer is liable for the defects. However, the product distributors can also be liable for the offense. 

However, you should enlist the services of a California car accident lawyer to assist you in filing for compensation. Most auto companies and distributors will deny they sold a faulty product and will blame you for the accident as the accident victim.  

Types Of Seat Belt Failures

Seat belts are one of the most important safety features in a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they save around fifteen thousand people from death. Therefore, you need to maintain the safety belts as they are pivotal to your protection, especially in accidents. 

However, safety belt failures are on the rise, which leads to an increased rate of injuries and fatalities. It is upon you to spot faults before they become worse and compromise the integrity of the seatbelts. Below are some of the most common seat belt failures. 

  1. The Seat Belt is Stretched Out

One of the most common problems with seat belts is they become loose over time. The lack of tension causes the belt to slip out of place during a collision. The seatbelt can become loose due to several factors, but the most common is tear and wear.

  1. The Seat Belt is Too Tight

On the other hand, some drivers prefer their seat belts to be as tight as possible, which can also cause problems in an emergency. If you find yourself having to pull hard on your seat belt for it to lock into place, then you need to adjust it accordingly.

  1. The Seat Belt Buckle is Broken or Cracked

Another common problem with seat belts is a broken or damaged buckle due to wear and tear over time. You can easily fix the issue by replacing the buckle. However, it is important to do so as soon as possible to ensure that your seat belt is working properly.

  1. The Seat Belt Anchor is Loose

Another common problem with seat belts is that the anchor point where the seat belt connects to the car becomes loose over time. The loose anchor causes the belt to move around during a collision. You can easily fix this situation by tightening the anchor point. It is important to do so as soon as possible to ensure that your seat belt is working properly.

  1. The Seat Belt Retractor Is Broken Or Cracked

The retractor is what allows your seat belt to extend and retract when you pull on it. If this mechanism becomes damaged or broken, you cannot use your seat belt at all. You can fix this issue by replacing the retractor. If you find yourself having trouble locking your seat belt into place even after replacing the buckle, then you may have a more serious problem in your hands, and you should have a professional look at the problem immediately.

  1. The Seat-Belt System Is Poorly Mounted

The seat belt anchor system can either be attached to the car’s door or frame. However, the most effective anchor systems are attached to the frame. Therefore, if the mounting is in the door, the seat belt could fail to provide the required protection if the door is yanked off during the accident.   

How Much Can You Receive As Compensation For A Defective Seatbelt?

It is critical to enlist the services of a car accident attorney if you are involved in an accident due to seatbelt failure so that you can claim compensation from the liable party. However, the court must first establish who is liable for the product defect. If your attorney establishes the manufacturer or distributor is liable for the defective product, the lawsuit could be worth thousands of dollars or even more. However, the insurance company will have to establish the extent of your injuries. They will also consider other factors before they settle your claim.  

The court will establish the effect of the injuries on your job and lifestyle, your age, your remuneration, the level of negligence that led to the crush, and the severity of the injuries, among other similar factors. 

Your compensation will also depend on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if you suffer minor injuries, you may not receive much compensation. On the other hand, if the vehicle lost control and rolled over and the seat belt unlatched itself, and you sustained serious injuries, the court may award you substantial compensation. The court will also consider the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Compensation may come in monthly payments or as a lump sum payable later. If your injuries are permanent, you may receive a larger settlement or lump sum. Compensation is awarded based on the severity of your injuries, as well as the length of time you were unable to work. In many cases, compensation for a defective seatbelt is paid for by a liability insurance policy. If you have questions regarding your rights or the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, please contact a personal injury attorney. They can advise you of your rights and assist you in filing a compensation claim. They can also help you navigate the complex legal system to receive the highest compensation possible. This can help protect you against a situation where you will likely lose most of your compensation if you do not have legal representation.

How To File A Seatbelt Defect Or Failure Lawsuit

You should consult an experienced California lawyer if you believe a seatbelt failure resulted in your injuries. You should not cater to your medical bills, yet the injuries were caused by a third party’s negligence which led to the seat belt failure. 

The Various Types Of Compensation You May Be Eligible To Receive In California

The court can award you various benefits as compensation depending on the circumstances of the case. The court may compensate you for pain and suffering, anxiety, emotional trauma, physiotherapy, surgery, or any hospitalization and other treatment you undergo due to the accident. The court may also award you compensation for the cost of repairing your vehicle. It is also possible to sue the liable party for wrongful death due to seatbelt failure in California. You can also file a claim for inheritance loss, funeral costs, loss of consortium, and life insurance, among other similar claims.

Contact A Car Accident Lawyer Near Me 

If you or your loved one has sustained injuries or succumbed to injuries due to seatbelt failure, you are entitled to compensation. However, you may not know if you should contact a car accident lawyer or your insurance company. Your attorney will represent you in court and determine how much is fair compensation. They will also help you understand your rights and the next steps you should take.   

The liable party’s insurance company may reject your accident compensation claim. In such a case, you need to employ the services of a highly experienced car accident attorney. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have highly experienced attorneys who have helped many accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. If you or your loved one needs help claiming car accident compensation in Las Vegas, don’t hesitate to contact us at 702-576-0010.