The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that seat belts saved more than 15,000 lives in 2016, and more than 300,000 total lives have been saved by these important safety devices since they first came into use. Of course, these life-saving benefits only apply when seat belts are manufactured and installed correctly – and the injuries caused by a defective auto restraint system can quickly turn fatal during an accident.
At Eisenberg, Cutt, Kendell & Olson, our Salt Lake City auto defect attorneys are committed to helping you recover fully when your restraining system fails. Carrying a strong combination of technical knowledge and courtroom experience, our highly-skilled legal team can help you seek maximum compensation when an auto manufacturer has been negligent.
Contact us at (801) 901-3470 today to schedule a free consultation.
What Is a Vehicle Restraint System?
Although seat belts and other restraining devices have been around for more than 50 years, it wasn’t until 1984 that the first law requiring seat belt usage was passed in New York. In the decades that followed, vehicle restraint systems came to encompass far more than just seat belts, as new innovations in design and manufacturing became widely available.
Because of these innovations, most modern cars rely on a combination of “passive” restraint systems like airbags, as well as more “active” restraint methods like seat belts. That means there are dozens of possible restraint system defects that can cause you to sustain an injury, precisely because there are so many moving parts involved in today’s cars.
Here are a few of the most important components involved in a vehicle restraint system:
- Airbags (both frontal and side)
- Seat belt latching mechanisms
- Automatic seat belt extenders
- Vehicle seat backs
- Interior padding levels
- Roof structure or “crush”
- Seat belt webbing
When investigating your car accident case, our Salt Lake City legal team will try to figure out what caused the core failure. Whether there was too much slack in the belt due to retractor failure or a false latch in the locking mechanism, we’ll help you determine the root of your injuries and pursue appropriate recovery.
Most Common Injuries from Seat Belt Failure
When companies fail to properly check and test the safety equipment in our motor vehicles, it presents a major risk to consumers. Depending on which part of your vehicle restraint system failed, your injuries may range from minor bruising to severe head trauma and paralysis. Although the injuries can vary, however, it’s clear that defective seat belts always add to the severity of a car accident and can put many lives in danger.
Some of the most common injuries that result after restraint system failures include:
- Lacerations of the neck
- Abrasions and contusions
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Choking and suffocation
- Hemorrhaging and internal bleeding
- Bone fractures
If you’ve sustained any of the above injuries or other damages after a restraint system failed, don’t hesitate to call Eisenberg, Cutt, Kendell & Olson at (801) 901-3470.