Seatbelt Injury Attorneys in New Jersey
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Compensation for Seatbelt Injuries & Failures
In the midst of a car accident, a vehicle occupant’s first and often best line of defense is a seatbelt. While other safety features such as airbags and crumpling vehicle frames help lessen the severity of a collision, there is a reason why safety organizations and police put so much emphasis on using a seatbelt.
But what makes seatbelts so vital for preserving the health of vehicle occupants? And what factors can result in serious injuries?
The Restraint of Seatbelts
Seatbelts can use several different systems to properly function both in normal situations and in the event of a crash. But in either case, they are made to quickly and completely restrain an occupant when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop. This will keep a person’s body in place, rather than letting them be thrown forward or to the side due to kinetic energy from the car’s movement. Beyond hitting the inside of the vehicle, this will prevent ejections.
Injuries from Seatbelts
While these restraints are meant to prevent serious injuries, they may cause trauma on their own. The tight and sudden restriction of a seatbelt in a crash may cause bruises and other trauma in the areas of the body it contacts. Additionally, the heads of victims are not restrained, so the event of being thrown forward or backward and then pulled back can cause whiplash. Other results of seatbelt restraint in a collision can include broken bones, nerve damage, and back injuries.
The Dangers of Defective Restraints & Seatbelt Failures
Some of the worst restraint-related injuries can result from a defective seatbelt. Should design or manufacturing defects compromise the system in some manner, these safety devices can turn into serious hazards.
- Delayed Restraint: If the seatbelt responds slowly in the course of a collision, additional slack can be created before it tightens and restrain an occupant. This additional space will let the victim be thrown forward hard and fast, worsening injuries from the seatbelt.
- Weakened Belts: If the belt is not made from strong enough material, it may rip or tear during the crash. This can either be caused by force exerted on it from an occupant or sharp debris cutting it.
- Improper Stitching: Belt components are stitched together at crucial sections of the restraint system. If this is improperly done, it may come apart over time or during the crash itself.
- Buckling Problems: The seatbelt latch is meant to firmly and completely grip the buckle of the belt. If this does not latch properly, the buckle could slip out, rendering it useless in the midst of a collision.
Legal Assistance in Your Recovery
There may be multiple parties who can be held at fault for injuries sustained in a crash. If the collision was caused by someone else, he or she can be responsible for paying compensation to cover losses. Additionally, if a seatbelt or other safety device failed and caused increased injuries, vehicle manufacturers can be at fault as well.
The NJ car accident lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. are focused on aiding injured clients prove fault, find justice, receive compensation, and preserve their futures. To learn more about how we might be able to aid you in your seatbelt injury matter, contact us today at (609) 240-0040.
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- Seat Belt Laws - NJ Department of Law & Public Safety
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