Q Who is responsible when a seat belt causes a serious injury?
While wearing your seat belt can save your life in a car accident, it also has the potential to cause serious injuries for drivers and passengers. In many cases, these injuries are a result of a manufacturer’s defect—by either the company that made the vehicle, the manufacturer of the belt, or the designer of the car itself.
How to Determine the Cause of Your Seat Belt Injury
In order to determine who is at fault for causing your injury, you should have the accident investigated as soon as possible. By examining the vehicle and your injuries, we can determine if your injuries were the result of:
- A defective seat belt. Seat belts are made in a factory, just like any other automobile component—and just as with tires, steering wheels, or brake pedals, an error in the manufacturing process could cause severe injuries. It’s not only the belt itself that may malfunction: defective latches can cause a seat belt to detach during a collision, while a defective tension detector can fail to ratchet the seat belt taut in order to keep the victim restrained.
- A poorly designed seat belt. Some seat belts are flawed the moment they are put on paper. An automobile designer may have placed the buckle in a dangerous location, or neglected to take a driver’s proper position into account in favor of the interior styling of the vehicle.
- An improper seat belt. The company that built your car may be liable for your injuries if your seat belt was not sufficient to restrain you in a crash. These cases usually take place when there is only a lap belt available in a certain seat in the vehicle (versus both a lap and shoulder belt).
If the seat belt that caused your injury malfunctioned or was badly designed, you should speak to an attorney to discover if you have a product liability claim. If you have a valid defective product claim, you may be able to get compensation from the vehicle manufacturer, auto retailer, supply company, or distributor of the seat belt to pay for your hospital bills and loss of income. Click the live chat link at the bottom of this page to find out how we can help.