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Seat belts were created to minimize injuries in auto accidents, but a seat belt that malfunctions or has design flaws can cause catastrophic injuries or death even in an accident that otherwise would have caused little or no injury. Wearing a defective seat belt can be more dangerous than wearing no seat belt at all.
Common seat belt malfunctions include unintentional unlatching and retractor failure. When a seat belt unlatches unexpectedly, it is as if you were never wearing the belt and can result in full or partial ejection from the vehicle. Retractor failure allows slack to be created in the belt. Even a few inches of slack in a seat belt allows your body to gain momentum before being snapped back by the belt. It can also cause you to impact the interior of the vehicle, resulting in serious personal injury.
Design defects make many seat belts dangerous for children and small adults. The shoulder strap can sit too high, causing impact to the neck, resulting in spinal cord injuries. Automatic belts can cause injuries when the lap belt is not worn because all of the force goes to the head and neck. Door mounted belts can cause ejection if the door comes open during an auto accident. Defective seat belts can cause:
Injuries caused by defective seat belts are entirely preventable. Simple improvements in design, manufacturing, and installation could eliminate seat belt malfunction and failure.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a defective seat belt, the attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve. We will employ vehicle design experts to prove that your injuries were caused by the manufacturer’s negligence. Our lawyers will review the details of your accident to help you determine whether you have a valid defective auto claim.
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