Liability for Seat Belt Accidents
Determining liability after an accident must involve investigation of the possible causes, and often the seat belt system reveals itself as the reason for the victim’s serious injuries because of the position of the injured person after the crash. Unrestrained, or partially restrained, the victim will be tossed around during impact in ways that proper restraint would prevent.
However, investigation must also consider the type of seat belt system provided by the car maker. Was there a shoulder strap for passengers in the back seat? Did it allow the passenger to use the shoulder strap without the lap belt (“passive restraint systems”)? Was the layout of the system flawed, allowing the seat belt retractors to cause over-spooling (failure to lock up during the accident)?
Usually, defective seatbelt systems fail during a crash when:
- The webbing separates
- The buckle unlatches
- The retractor spools out
- The pre-tensioner does not fire
- The fit (geometry) does not restrain the occupant.
Experienced Safety Belt Accident Attorneys
Defective seat belts, in their failure to restrain and protect, can cause disastrous bodily injuries and are often fatal. After the failure of a safety belt in an accident, the victim may suffer permanent harm to their head, neck, or spine, and face a lifetime of coping with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injury.
It is not uncommon for safety belt system failures to become the basis of wrongful death lawsuits filed on behalf of grieving loved ones. Particularly for drivers and front seat passengers, the failure of a restraining seat belt at the time of impact may mean death for the victim who is thrown from the vehicle or through the windshield.
Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair LLP represents accident victims who have been seriously injured or killed due to a flawed or defective product, including accidents caused by safety belt or seat belt system failures.