Seat belt use cuts serious and fatal car crash injuries by half. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that safety belts save 13,000 lives every year. However, a defective seat belt fails to provide protection or may even increase the chances of injuries.
Brais Law Firm helps victims of vehicular crashes recover damages for injuries. We always consider whether an auto manufacturer was negligent in the design or production of the vehicle and, if so, hold the corporation accountable.
Our Miami defective auto parts attorneys have a history of high verdicts and settlements that have earned us respect from our legal colleagues and clients. Some awards we have won include Rising Star, Super Lawyers and Legal Elite designations. We also are members of the prestigious Multi-Million Dollars Advocates Forum, reserved only for lawyers who have achieved multiple seven-figure recoveries. We invite you to read our firm’s Results page to learn more about our recoveries.
How Seat Belts Are Supposed to Work
A seat belt works by holding your body in place during a collision. If your car were traveling at 30 mph, for example, and hit a stationary object, your car would stop upon impact, while your body continued traveling at 30 mph until you hit an object, such as the steering wheel or windshield.
The seat belt, however, stops the momentum of your body from continuing forward at a high rate of speed. The wide strap puts even pressure on your relatively sturdy pelvis and ribcage, to protect the vulnerable parts of the body, such as your head, spinal cord and face. Furthermore, the flexible webbed material is designed to cushion the movement and more gradually stop your body.
The spool and retractor mechanism allows you to stretch the seat belt far enough to buckle it and keeps the strap comfortably snug against your body. The loss of the car’s forward momentum, as occurs if your car hits an object or you slam on your brakes, engages a locking mechanism that tightens the seat belt.
Common Defects in Safety Belts
The above scenario explains how your seat belt is supposed to work. Unfortunately, an auto parts defect may cause serious failure, including:
- The seat belt does not lock in place upon impact
- The seat belt has excessive slack upon engagement of the locking mechanism
- The material has too little or too much give
- The material of the seat belt rips or unravels
These defects are not discoverable until an accident occurs or the manufacturer issues a recall.
Seat Belt Injuries
A defective seat belt may leave a vehicle occupant vulnerable as though not wearing a seat belt at all or can cause serious injuries resulting in such damages as:
- Injuries related to partial or full ejection from the vehicle
- Head, spinal cord and facial injuries resulting from impact
- Broken ribs, shoulder, pelvis and hips
- Internal organ damage
- Lacerations and contusions caused by the belt strap
- Scars and disfigurement
Recover from Negligent Auto Parts Manufacturers
If you sustained injuries because of a failed seat belt during an auto crash, Brais Law Firm can help you recover. Call or contact us online to schedule your free case analysis at which we explain your rights to recovery. We handle all products liability claims on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay our lawyers’ fees unless we recover damages for you. Our firm handles claims throughout Florida from our main office in Miami.