Don’t let a seat belt injury hold you back any longer. Call a Los Angeles seat belt injury attorney who can fight for the compensation you deserve.
Seat belts are designed to protect us in case of a car crash, but sometimes things go wrong. Whether it’s poor design or a mechanical failure, injuries sustained in accidents like these shouldn’t be your burden to bear.
Proving that the seat belt was responsible for your injury can be difficult, so finding the right Los Angeles seat belt injury lawyer may be a necessity. Haffner Law has the resources needed to find out what went wrong and, more importantly, the ability to prove it in court or during settlement negotiations.
Why Do I Need California Seat Belt Injuries Attorneys?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts have saved numerous lives for years. That’s why it’s important to wear your seat belt every time you get in a car. But what happens if you are injured in a car accident and don’t have a seat belt injury attorney? You could be out of luck.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and don’t have one of our skilled car accident attorney in Los Angeles, you could be out of luck. That’s because if you aren’t wearing your seat belt when you are injured, the insurance company will try to blame you for your injuries.
They will argue that if you had been wearing your seat belt, you would have only suffered minor injuries instead of the serious ones that you did suffer. And since they aren’t responsible for those injuries, they won’t pay your medical bills or lost wages. That’s why it’s so important to have our Los Angeles seat belt injuries attorneys on your side.
We are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and know how to fight for the compensation you deserve. We can help you get the money you need to pay your medical bills and cover any wages you may have lost due to your injury. We can also help you get money for pain and suffering and any other damages you may be entitled to.
Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you after a seat belt injury. Make sure you have one of our competent seat belt injuries attorneys who will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us at Haffner Law today to get the help you need with personal injury law.
What Constitutes a Seat Belt Injury?
While there is a lot of evidence showing seat belts can save lives, it doesn’t imply you’re safe in a vehicle accident. In rare circumstances, the seat belt may have caused your injury in the first place. You’re frequently thrown back and forth when you’re in a car accident.
The sheer force of your body striking the seat belt might injure you. Seat belt injuries can also occur in the following ways:
- Incorrect buckling or placement
- Excessively tight restraints
- Manufacturer’s defect
Wearing a seat belt is the responsible thing to do, yet injuries can still occur. Knowing the different types of seat belt injuries and how they occur might be useful if you decide to file a lawsuit. Our skilled seat belt injuries attorneys in Los Angeles can determine the cause of your injuries and if you were the victim of negligence.
What Are the Most Common Seat Belt Defects?
Many flaws might cause a seat belt to fail after a car accident. Because insurance companies frequently argue that car occupants are ejected because they were not wearing a seat belt, our trained seat belt injuries attorneys collaborate closely with safety and technical specialists.
If no other vehicle occupants can attest that you were buckled up, specialists may be required to prove that a defective seat belt caused your injuries. The following are common examples of seat belt failure:
Defective Tension Retractor Device
Many seat belts work by allowing slack in the shoulder harness and retracting when the person is pushed forward. When the retraction mechanism fails to respond to the movement of the vehicle occupant, the resulting permanent slack can result in neck and spinal injuries, head and brain traumas, or abdominal injuries.
Defective seat belt latches do not always fully engage, even if they create a sound similar to the latch engaging. This is known as “false latching,” since the driver or passenger believes they are properly secured, but the seat belt will become unbuckled when exposed to the force of a collision.
Tearing Lap Belts
When the weave of the fabric used to make the lap belt is insufficient, the fabric might be torn by debris or fail during a collision.
Incorrect Use of Belt System
Many drivers merely use the lap belt and hide the shoulder harness behind their backs. Some older vehicles might not have a shoulder harness as well. When the lap and shoulder harnesses are not worn properly, the occupant’s upper body might be subjected to extreme energy, resulting in spinal fractures, brain or head injuries, and abdominal trauma.
Excessive Seat Belt Slack
Seat belts should be designed to fit snugly around your body without unnecessary slack. When a seat belt has too much slack, a passenger or driver’s body might be propelled backward or sideways, posing a major injury risk, such as a collision with the glass or metal inside a car door or windshield.
Vehicles have been found to have faulty buckles that do not attach correctly, resulting in improper restraint of vehicle occupants. This flaw puts vehicle occupants in danger of ejection during a collision.
Passive Restraint Systems
Certain vehicles have automated lap belts in addition to manual lap belts. These systems may cause the user to forget to buckle the lap belt. This error resulted in terrible injuries such as decapitation, strangling, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and liver laceration.
You may be able to bring product liability claims against a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer (such as a used car dealer) responsible for making the product available to the public. Call our LA personal injury attorney to learn more.
Seat Belt Injury Causes and Ways to Fight Back
Seat belts can injure you even when they function properly, but when they malfunction, much worse happens. These types of malfunctions could be due to a poor fit despite attempts to adjust it, or issues with the vehicle’s latches and tension sensors may prevent the belt from tightening when appropriate or loosening afterward.
Along with filing a claim against the people responsible for the accident, we can also file a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, installer, or repair technicians involved with the seat belt or vehicle as a whole. Your seat belt injury lawyer in Los Angeles can work with expert witnesses to determine what went wrong and hold the right groups accountable.
Seat Belt Injuries
Injuries caused by seat belts that stay connected are collectively called seat belt syndrome, indicating the heavy bruising from shoulder to hip and across the waist. These are especially dangerous to short people, the elderly, pregnant women, and children.
Other than the obvious bruising, you might have experienced prolonged or unexplained shock, hinting at more serious injuries that are hard to detect. These pains are often delayed, which can make detecting and treating them difficult and can lead to worse complications.
Common organ injuries tied to seat belts include the following:
- Brain injuries
- Blunt abdominal trauma
- Heart and aortic damage
- Ruptured spleen
- Lung and respiratory tract damage
- Kidney, bladder, and urinary tract damage
Other common injuries:
- Weakness, dizziness
- Cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) spinal fracture, spinal nerve damage, or whiplash
- Bruised, dislocated, or fractured ribs or sternum
- Shoulder injuries like torn tendons, torn muscle fibers, dislocations, clavicle fracture, and other nerve and joint damage
- Abrasions and lacerations
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- In the worst-case scenarios, it may lead to wrongful death.
Your seat belt injury attorney in LA can help you understand the full extent of your injuries and recover compensation to account for it.
Compensation You Could Recover
Your expenses will be high when you’re involved in any car crash causing injuries, but it will be up to your LA seat belt injury attorney to fight for every penny so you can make a full recovery. You could win compensation for the following damages:
- Medical costs
- Reconstructive surgeries
- Income loss
- Disability accommodations
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
California Shared Fault
The defense will likely try to take advantage of California’s comparative negligence rules to reduce the payout it’s ordered to provide. Under this rule, if you’re 20 percent at fault and are awarded $100,000, then you’ll only get $80,000.
The positive aspect is that, if you were partially responsible for your injuries due to improper seat belt use or were too close to the steering wheel, you can still recover some compensation. Your seat belt injury lawyer in LA can maximize your compensation.
How Much is the Value of a Seat Belt Injury?
Seat belt-related injuries have no expected value. Setting a monetary value on your seat belt injury is determined by the following factors:
The Degree of Collision
Serious vehicle accidents resulting in airbag deployment result in greater settlements than a fender bender. They not only cause more injuries, but they also cause property damage that takes longer to repair, creating more life disturbance.
Fractures, internal bleeding, organ damage, and any mental distress caused by those severe injuries are worth more money. However, if your soft tissue injury impairs your capacity to work or becomes more severe than first diagnosed, you may be able to recover more money.
Effects on Quality of Life
Pain and suffering can lower your quality of life, mainly if you cannot engage in your typical activities and interests. This standard covers soft tissue injuries, fractures, and internal bleeding. For example, if bruising and whiplash make it challenging to run a marathon or compete in a horse show, this might be considered when calculating your damages.
Wages Lost or Earning Capacity Reduced
A severe injury can lead to missed work days. If your injuries cause you to be disabled and unable to continue working, you may be able to recover future lost income.
Traffic accidents and their circumstances are as varied as the persons involved. It is difficult to provide a concrete estimate of a catastrophic injury value or to guarantee a settlement sum. These cases do not guarantee any settlement amounts for you, but they provide you with an indication of the possibilities.