Everyone knows that seat belts save lives. In fact, using a seat belt reduces the risk of death and serious injuries by nearly fifty percent, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, in 2014, seat belts saved the lives of 12,802 people in the United States.
However, if a seat belt is defective, it can do more harm than if you had never been wearing the belt in the first place. If you or a loved one was injured or killed due to a defective seat belt, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. Filing a defective seat belt claim and going up against a large manufacturer can be difficult. Call Cordisco & Saile, LLC for help: 215-642-2335.
Examples of Defective Seat Belts
Using a properly working seat belt while driving is one of the smartest things you can do to stay safe. But if your seat belt is defective, you could easily end up with severe injuries, even if your crash is minor.
The most common types of seat belt defects include:
- Buckle unlatching during an accident: If the buckle is defective, the seat belt can unlatch during an accident.
- Shoulder belt going slack during an accident: You are probably familiar with your shoulder belt becoming tight when you press the brakes of your car. This is normal. If your seat belt is defective, the shoulder belt could remain loose — and therefore, ineffective — during a crash.
- Defective webbing: If the fabric of a seat belt is defective, the belt can fray, tear, or split during an accident.
What do I need to do to file a defective seat belt claim?
If your seat belt malfunctioned during a crash, you may be able to file a defective seat belt claim. Depending on the defect, you can file your claim against:
- The car manufacturer
- Parts manufacturers
- The dealership
In order to win your personal injury claim for a defective seat belt, you will need to prove two things.
First, that your seat belt was defective and second, that you suffered actual damages because of the defective seat belt. If your seat belt was defective, but you did not suffer injuries, you cannot recover compensation.
You must also prove that you were wearing your seat belt the way the manufacturer intended. According to SaferCar.gov, the correct way to wear your seat belt is to place the lap belt low over your hips and the shoulder strap across your shoulder and chest.
If you were wearing the shoulder strap under your arm or behind your back, the manufacturer could argue that the seat belt was not defective, you were just using it incorrectly.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
Yes. While it is often obvious that a seat belt was defective after a crash, defective seat belt cases are very difficult to prove in court. This is often because people lie about using seat belts or wear them incorrectly.
In addition, fighting a manufacturer and its large legal team is no easy feat.
Without the help of an attorney with experience fighting manufacturers, you are unlikely to recover any compensation for your defective seat belt injuries.
The dangerous products lawyers at Cordisco & Saile, LLC can help you prove your seat belt was defective through the use of test evidence from your vehicle, accident reconstructions, your medical reports and test results, and expert testimony.
To set up your free initial consultation, contact Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335.