Wearing a seatbelt in the car has been known to save countless numbers of lives. This is because it can help prevent you from flying out of the vehicle when there is a collision. However, the restraints that seatbelts bring forth on your body during a crash can also cause other types of physical injuries.
This is not as well known. Naturally, there can be a lot of confusion surrounding the topic and a bevy of questions that you might have.
What Are Some Examples of Seatbelt Injuries?
Seatbelt-related injuries during a motor vehicle accident are also known as “seatbelt syndrome.” Seatbelts can cause injury due to the transmission of force upon crash impact associated with the restraint of the driver and passengers. The most common seatbelt injuries include:
- Intra-abdominal injuries
- Cervical vascular injuries
- Cervical spine fractures
- Clavicle fractures
- Sternal fractures
- Rib fractures
- Pulmonary contusions
- Myocardial contusions
- Lung lacerations
- Heart ruptures
- Aorta ruptures
Vertebral and thoracic injuries occur when the seatbelt is over the neck and upper back. It is important to call 911 and head to a hospital immediately following the car accident if you are suffering from any of these seatbelt injuries.
What Are the Symptoms of a Seatbelt Injury?
Symptoms of a seatbelt-related ailment depend on what part of your body was injured. There are a number of symptoms that you could experience. These include:
- Trouble breathing
- Stiffness when lying down or moving arms
- Vomiting blood
- Trouble walking
- Blood in urine or bowels
- Pale and wet skin (signs of internal bleeding)
Suffering from any of these symptoms immediately following the traffic accident or even weeks after the accident occurred is an indication that medical aid is needed. Some seatbelt-related injuries could develop into far worse conditions and can even lead to death. Being looked at by a medical professional after experiencing a car crash is never a bad idea, even if you are not hurt or feel no immediate pain.
Should You Still Wear a Seatbelt?
Yes, you should still wear a seatbelt when driving. This is because data shows they are still far safer to wear during an accident compared to not having a seatbelt on during a collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the last 40 years of recorded data in the US, seatbelts have reduced the risk of both injury and death.
The research shows:
- Front-seat passenger deaths in cars decreased by 45%
- Front-seat passenger injuries in cars decreased by 50%
- Front-seat passenger deaths in trucks decreased by 60%
- Front-seat passenger injuries in trucks decreased by 65%
It is true that seatbelts can cause physical injury as well. Their main purpose is to prevent greater harm, and your odds of surviving any kind of car crash are much better if you decide to put on your seatbelt. The data could not make this any clearer.
What Are the Laws Surrounding Seatbelts?
All passenger vehicles (except busses) are required to be assembled and equipped with seatbelts in designated seats. This is because of Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Safety Standards. The State of Georgia requires all passengers in the front seats of cars and anyone under the age of 18 anywhere in the car to wear seatbelts.
This law has primary enforcement, which means that a police officer can pull anyone over who is in violation of the law and hand them a ticket for at least $15.
Can Airbags Cause Injury Too?
Seatbelts are not the only safety device in your car that can actually end up harming you while trying to protect you. Airbags being deployed during a traffic collision can cause physical injury to you as well. This is because they can deploy at speeds of 100 mph, and their blunt force can cause major damage to your body.
The most common injuries associated with airbags include:
- Neck Injuries
- Spine Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Face Lacerations
- Bone Fractures
- Chest Injuries
- Arm and Hand Injuries
- Burns (both chemical and friction burns)
Similarly to seatbelt-related injuries, you may feel it is dumb that a safety device in your vehicle actually ended up harming you. It is important to understand that with both seatbelts and airbags, they still reduced the risk of greater injury and/or being killed from the collision that occurred.
Will Insurance Cover Seatbelt Injuries?
Your insurance providers should cover any type of injury you sustained from the motor vehicle accident. There is no reason for them to not cover the medical costs of your ailments. This is especially true if you were not liable for the crash and someone else was.
The insurance company is supposed to cover the medical costs for you, but they will inevitably try to get out of paying their fair share. This is because they want to save more money for the business, and they think the injury victims will not push back. Do not let this happen to you or any of your loved ones.
Stand your ground when meeting with them to discuss payments. If need be, hire a personal injury lawyer. Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer from John Foy & Associates has an entire team full of experienced personal injury attorneys who are ready to work day and night to ensure that no insurance company manipulates you into receiving less than what you are owed.
Should You Hire an Attorney for Seatbelt Injuries?
Yes, you should always hire a Lawyer following a critical car accident where you got seriously hurt. This is never more true than when you are not at fault but rather a victim of someone else’s reckless actions. Some people believe that seatbelt injuries are not taken as seriously as other physical injuries, which is why they do not hire a personal injury attorney to help with their case.
However, this could not be farther from the truth. Any injury caused by a motor vehicle accident is worth examing and getting compensated for. Along with financial compensation, your personal injury lawyer from Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers will negotiate with your insurance providers to ensure that you are getting paid an appropriate amount.
Contact us today and receive a free evaluation of your case. We also intend to hold the at-fault driver liable for their careless actions.