Defending Victims of Defective Seat Belts
If you were involved in an auto accident and suffered
serious injury or lost a loved one because of a defective seat belt, contact a lawyer at our firm. Your initial consultation is free, and we will be happy to talk to you about the particular incident and how we may be able to assist you in taking legal action against the manufacturer for a design or manufacturing defect.
When a seat belt works properly, it is one of the most important safety features a vehicle has. It serves to hold the driver in his or her seat and may work to prevent a driver from striking the dashboard or windshield, or from falling out of the seat and being ejected from the vehicle in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, when a seat belt malfunctions, the results may be catastrophic.
Different Types of Seatbelt Failures
Seatbelts serve an ultimate purpose which is to save a person's life in the event of an auto accident. However, seatbelts do not always work the way they were intended to. People, who are injured due to a defective seatbelt, may have foundation for a lawsuit against the party responsible for their injuries or the seatbelt's manufacturer. Depending on the situation, a passenger or the driver wearing a seatbelt as required by law can still potentially suffer serious injury.
The following is a list of various seatbelt malfunctions that may occur:
- Release - This is the case when a seatbelt breaks or unfastens during a collision. In a high-speed collision, a seatbelt that unfastens when it shouldn't can cause the driver or passenger to be ejected from the automobile.
- Release Malfunction - For example, a car is submerged in water or encapsulated in fire after a collision and the seatbelt refuses to unclasp, this will result in the occupant being trapped in the car, which may lead to a fatality.
- Design Flaws - This particularly dangerous if the seatbelt rests on an improper position on a passenger's body, which would lead to internal organs being affected due to the seatbelt design
- Manufacturing Flaws - Just like in the other examples, a seatbelt defective from the manufacturer may release, fail to release, or break during a collision.
Consult a Los Angeles Auto Accident Attorney
A seat belt may not perform properly if it is poorly designed or if it has a manufacturing defect that prevents it from working as it should. In these instances, the seat belt may fail entirely, allowing the driver to essentially ricochet around the interior of the car during the collision or perhaps be ejected entirely. A seat belt may also fail to lock and hold the driver, meaning that he or she will travel further from the seat than the belt should allow. This may result in impact with the steering column or dashboard.
In some cases, a seat belt will be designed in such a manner as to hit a driver at the wrong part of the body, resulting in seat belt injury when an accident does occur (even if the belt locks in place.) No matter the circumstances of your auto accident or what injury you have sustained, it is crucial that you consider consulting an attorney regarding your case. A defective seatbelt may have caused you or a passenger to sustain increased injury and if this is the case the manufacturer should be held accountable.