Seatbelts are meant to save lives and protect people from injuries during car accidents. If a seatbelt malfunctions or functions below standard expectations, you might suffer serious injuries. In severe car accidents, a malfunctioning seatbelt could even lead to death.
The auto manufacturer that installed the seatbelts in your car could ultimately be responsible for any injuries you sustain because of the seatbelt. If you or a loved one suffered injuries that may have been caused by a defect in your seatbelt, talk to an attorney right away. Miami defective seatbelt injury lawyer Prosper Shaked offers free consultations on personal injury cases. To schedule your free consultation, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.
Types of Injuries from Defective Seatbelts
A seatbelt is designed to keep a driver or a passenger in their seat when an accident occurs. The chance of survival if you are ejected from a vehicle goes down considerably, especially in serious accidents like rollovers. Seatbelts can cause some internal injuries and external bruising, but they are often far less severe than injuries sustained from being thrown around the inside of a vehicle or being ejected from a car entirely.
Sometimes seat belts fail to do their job and car accident victims face these risks of injury anyway. Seatbelts tend to fail in one of a few particular manners:
The seatbelt itself is made of a material commonly called “webbing.” The same kind of material is used in safety harnesses, parachute straps, and other straps that need to be strong. If the webbing is poorly designed, defectively manufactured, ripped, or otherwise weakened, the seatbelt might rip entirely. This reduces the seatbelt’s effectiveness to nothing and can leave riders at the same risk they could have without a seatbelt.
The seatbelt’s buckle is intended to hold, even with the weight of a human body pushing against it during an accident. If the latch has problems, the buckle can burst open, leaving the passenger unsecured. These issues usually come in one of two forms: either the latch separates under the force of the accident, or the latch appears locked, but is not. If the latch looks locked, the passenger has no reason to examine it further. Unfortunately, many people do not realize until it’s too late that the latch was never actually secured.
Locking and Spooling Issues
Seat belts have a spool mounted inside the vehicle which allows the seatbelt to retract. These spools also have a locking mechanism that prevents the seatbelt from unspooling when it is pulled quickly. This gives the seatbelt a secure mount to keep you in your seat. If the seatbelt fails to lock, it will unspool and provide little to no protection. If the spool is off-track or has too much slack inside the spool, the locking mechanism will fail to activate, leaving the rider unsecured.
The other end of the seat belt and the latch also need secure anchor points. If these are mounted to the seat or a movable object instead of firmly mounted to the interior of the vehicle, the seatbelt could fail. The mounting may come loose or pull, allowing an occupant to slip out of the seatbelt’s grasp.
Suing for Defective Seatbelt Injuries
The dangers listed above have been recorded problems in a number of car accidents across the country. Many of these have even been the grounds for other personal injury lawsuits. If you or a loved one may have suffered injuries because of one of these causes, it is important to take your case to a personal injury lawyer.
An auto defects lawyer like Prosper Shaked can help investigate your case, hire experts to examine your seatbelt, and compare your case to other successful cases. If there is precedent for injuries and seatbelt failures like yours, it may be possible to file a case against the auto manufacturer. Even if your case involves a new or rare defect, you may still be able to claim compensation for your injuries.
A court can order the auto manufacturer to pay you monetary damages to compensate you for the effects of the seatbelt’s defect. This means they can be made to cover medical expenses you paid to treat your injuries, lost wages if you had to miss work, and any pain and suffering you face. Since there may be another driver responsible for the car crash, the auto manufacturer may only be responsible for the increased injuries you suffered because the seatbelt failed. The other driver may still be partly liable for causing the accident in the first place.
Call Our Miami Seat Belt Defect Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was injured because of a defective seatbelt, or if you lost a loved one to a crash because of their defective seatbelt, take your case to a personal injury lawyer. Miami seatbelt defect lawyer Prosper Shaked represents victims of defective seatbelt injuries in Miami and throughout South Florida. For a free consultation on your case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.