Oklahoma Seatbelt Injury Lawyers
Seatbelt Injuries in an Auto Accident
As drivers and passengers, we take for granted the ability of seatbelts to prevent injuries and save lives. Unfortunately, seatbelts can also be capable of causing serious injuries in a crash. If you have sustained seat belt injuries in an auto accident, it is in your best interests to speak with a knowledgeable Oklahoma car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Seat Belt Injuries
There are a number of injuries commonly caused by seatbelts, including:
- Spinal Injuries: Serious injuries can result from severe flexion of the torso over a lap seatbelt. In a high impact collision, this can cause tearing and fractures involving horizontal separation and splitting of the posterior vertebral arch.
- Internal Injuries: Trauma to the abdomen can commonly incur from a seatbelt injury. Seatbelts can cause perforation of the small intestine and injury to organs in the abdominal cavity. Multiple internal injuries are common with seatbelt trauma.
- Neck, Sternum, Ribs, and Upper Abdominal Injuries: Diagonal seatbelts and combination lap and diagonal belts prevent the lap flexion fractures caused by lap belts alone, but may cause flexion injuries in the neck and injury to the sternum, ribs, and upper abdomen.
Symptoms of Seatbelt Trauma After an Auto Accident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, seatbelt injuries may not be obvious right away. Signs and symptoms that may indicate seatbelt trauma include:
- Internal Bleeding: Seatbelt compression on the organs can cause damage to the urinary tract or bladder, endometriosis, or colon obstruction. Blood in the urine or stools may indicate such damage, while coughing up blood is an indication of damage to the respiratory tract or stomach.
- Weakness: Damage to the lower back, spinal nerves, or abdomen can cause weakness in the legs. General weakness may also be a sign of internal injuries.
- Neck Stiffness: Seatbelts can cause whiplash and neck injuries. See a doctor as soon as possible if you experience neck pain or restricted motion.
- Respiratory and Heart Problems: The force of a seatbelt restraining a moving individual can cause damage to the chest, lungs, or heart. Seek medical attention immediately if you have trouble breathing after a crash.
While properly working seatbelts can prevent fatalities and serious injuries, defective seatbelts can actually be very dangerous. Unfortunately, victims often fail to pursue compensation because of the general expectation that seat belts are there to protect us. In addition, it can be very difficult to prove that a defective seatbelt was the cause of your injury.
Seatbelts fail for a number of reasons, including torn or prematurely worn material, failure of the retractor, and poor design. It will often be necessary to have an expert examine the seat belt system to determine the exact cause, so it’s important that you preserve the vehicle and seatbelt before allowing any repairs.
If you have suffered seatbelt injuries in an automobile accident, you will need legal representation to help you recover fair compensation for your injuries. In many cases, you’ll find that you are not alone in being injured by a particular seatbelt system. Oftentimes, such incidents are part of a larger problem affecting multiple victims and the best way to approach the case will be a mass tort/class action.
The Oklahoma car accident attorneys at Car Accident Help can provide the high quality representation you need. Contact us today at (405) 285-4357 to discuss your case and get started on the process of ensuring that you receive all the compensation you deserve.
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- Adult Seat Belt Use - CDC
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