According to all conventional driving wisdom, the back seat is supposed to be the safest place for both children and adults while driving, primarily because the front seats can act like a buffer in the event of a collision. However, in recent years the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been pressured to update federal front seat safety standards, as more and more consumer reports have brought dangerous seatback failures to light.
Our Salt Lake City seatback failure attorneys at Eisenberg, Cutt, Kendell & Olson have spent more than 20 years providing skilled legal assistance on a range of complex car accident cases. Our experienced product liability team has the in-depth car knowledge required to investigate your seatback failure case properly – and we can also fight back against the negligent manufacturer on your behalf.
What Causes Seatback Failures?
Even though automobile safety has dramatically improved over the years, very little improvements have been made to front car seat stability, especially within the context of a motor vehicle accident. In 2016, CBS News highlighted the problem on an urgent news segment, after obtaining crash test videos that showed seatbacks collapsing even at speeds as low as 25 mph. Although this caused a significant public outcry and a call from legislators to improve seatback safety standards, the NHTSA has still not updated the federal safety standards since 1972.
The CBS News investigation also revealed that about 100 people are killed in the back seats of auto vehicles each year, particularly during rear-end collisions. This is because the car seat frame is often the only protection offered to passengers in a rear-end accident, and if small children are sitting behind a defective front seat, they can easily be crushed underneath the force of the driver and the seatback.
Here are some of the most common automobile defects that can lead to seatback failure:
- Lack of rigidity in seatback support system
- Loose or flimsy head restraints
- Incorrectly installed seatback frame
- Deformation of the seatback frame
- Deformation of head restraints
Seatback Failures Cause Catastrophic Injuries
No matter the source of a seatback defect, passengers and drivers are both more likely to sustain serious and even catastrophic injuries when their seats collapse. In 2008, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention found clear evidence that the injury risk to children doubled if the seat in front of them collapsed during a rear-end collision. When combined with the fact that parents often believe their children will be safest in the back seat, it’s little wonder that so many young children have suffered injuries as a result of seatback failure.
The most common injuries sustained after seatback failure include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Paralysis and loss of limb
- Loss of eyesight
- Permanent brain damage
- Internal organ collapse
- Severe whiplash
Compassionate Counsel and Aggressive Advocacy
When you’ve sustained a catastrophic injury in a car accident, you or your loved one may be facing a long road to full recovery, or have permanent injuries that require ongoing medical care. In order to cover the costs of your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you may need significant financial compensation from the negligent party.
Here at Eisenberg, Cutt, Kendell & Olson, our experienced Utah legal team is dedicated to providing you with the compassionate ear you deserve, and the powerful legal advocacy that you need. We understand just how devastating seatback failure injuries can be, and we’re passionate about pursuing the maximum level of compensation allowed under the law. With a proven track record of results and millions recovered for our clients, we’re here to help you seek justice in the wake of your injuries.
Ready to get started with a free consultation? Contact us at (801) 901-3470 or contact us by email for prompt legal assistance.