Seat belts are a crucial safety feature in cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over 48 percent of people in passenger vehicles were killed in 2016 because they weren’t wearing a seat belt. The safety device saved about 14,668 lives and could have potentially saved 2,456 more. But even responsible people who choose to wear a seat belt can get injured because their restraint might be defective. If you’ve sustained injuries because your seat belt failed to work, you can get help from a Little Rock seat belt failure lawyer.
McMath Woods P.A. protects the rights of Arkansas citizens and knows how car accidents are often caused by negligent individuals. Their carelessness often results in injuries that create a lot of financial stress. There are medical expenses, missing work, property damage, and more. But with our help, you can get compensation for the accident and stand up to the negligent party.
Ways Seat Belts Can Fail
You may be wondering about the ways that seat belts don’t work. There are a few ways that seat belts can have issues that will prevent them from working and will increase your chance of getting injured in an accident.
Faulty seatbelts may have the following problems:
- False Latching. This is when the seat belt looks and feels like it’s clicked in, making the wearer feel safe. Unfortunately, the seat belt can release at any moment.
- Unlatching Upon Impact. Also called inertial unlatching, this happens when the impact of a crash makes the seat belt unlatch, leaving the person vulnerable to injuries.
- Poor Belt Material. Seat belts are supposed to be strong enough to hold a person in an accident. If the belt tears when force is applied, there could be an issue with the material used.
- Failure to Retract. When an accident happens, the seat belt locks and tightens to hold the wearer in place. This is a defect where the belt doesn’t lock and also can release slack, rendering the belt useless.
- Anchor Systems Are Improperly Mounted. The seat belt anchor has to be mounted in a certain way to make it function correctly. When the mount isn’t secure, the seat belt won’t be able to protect the wearer.
These aren’t the only ways that a seat belt can be defective. If you believe you were injured because of a faulty seat belt, get in touch with one of our car accident lawyers. We’ll help you figure out the issue and how to proceed with the insurance company.
Determining Fault for Seat Belt Failure
When your seat belt doesn’t work and causes your injuries, you aren’t the one at fault. Your seat belt failure lawyer in Little Rock will hold the right people accountable for their actions. When it comes to defective seatbelts, the manufacturer that made the seatbelt or the vehicle could be held liable. There could be an issue with the materials used to make the seatbelt or there could be a design flaw that made it not work.
While the device is supposed to be tested and has certain safety standards to meet, there could be changes to standards later on or defects that make the device dangerous over time. No matter what the cause, your lawyers will discover what went wrong, why it failed, and who is responsible for your injuries.
How Can Your Lawyer Identify a Defective Seat Belt?
You may face difficulties with insurance companies or other parties when it comes to filing a claim against them. They may try to show that you were injured because you weren’t wearing your seat belt—which would be negligence on your part.
We understand how frustrating this can be because you’re being wrongfully accused of negligence and they’re trying to get out of paying you the compensation you need.
Luckily, our lawyers in Arkansas are well-versed in seat belt failure and know what signs to look for in your case. We’ll carefully inspect the accident scene and look for evidence that shows your seat belt was defective. We’ll take the following into consideration:
- Extent of Injuries. If a person was in a minor accident but sustained serious injuries, it can show that the seat belt did not work at the time of impact. There’s also a situation where people in the same car get vastly different degrees of injuries. If one person has some minor bumps and bruises but another person has to go to the hospital, the second person may have had a defective seat belt.
- A Frayed or Torn Seat Belt. Your lawyer may find physical evidence of a ripped seat belt which would explain the extent of your injuries.
- Injured Person’s Account. You may also provide insight as to what happened. You can say you were wearing a seat belt and can inform your lawyer if it detached, failed to restrain, or had another kind of malfunction.
- Person in Front Seat Hits Windshield. If the people in the front of the car made contact with the windshield, it’s likely their seat belt was defective.
- Discovery of a Loose Seat Belt. There may be an eyewitness at the scene that found you in the car with a loose-fitting seat belt, which would give you the support of an unbiased party.
Let McMath Woods P.A. Help You
When you’ve been wrongfully injured, you deserve representation that will fight for your rights no matter what. McMath Woods P.A. in Arkansas will stand up to manufacturing companies when they hurt people because of their defective products. We have experience in product liability and will do whatever it takes to defend you.
It’s also possible that a faulty seat belt could have led to a wrongful death of a family member. While the legal process can be painful, we can provide financial compensation that will help you get through this difficult time.
Getting started is the most important step. A free consultation is only one phone call away. We’re here to help.