If you’ve been injured due to a seat belt malfunction, our Denver seat belt injury attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim to receive compensation.
Ever since their introduction to the auto industry, seat belts have been a godsend. But if they fail to do their job, passengers can receive catastrophic injuries.
The seat belt or car manufacturer may be liable for the failure.
Seat Belt Statistics
The CDC reports:
- More than 50% of people killed in auto accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
- 86% of Colorado adults wear seat belts.
- Wearing seat belts and using booster seats significantly reduce the risk of injury and death in auto accidents.
- Over the past decades, 3,345 passengers have been killed in Colorado auto accidents.
Why Hire a Denver Seat Belt Injury Attorney?
Filing Personal Injury Claims
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, various parties may be at fault. But when it comes to seat belt failures, even a driver responsible for the accident may be able to make a claim.
Seat Belts are designed and trusted to save lives and prevent injury. If they snap, detach or tear, then they have fundamentally failed their purpose.
So what can you do?
By filing a personal injury claim against the relevant party (such as a manufacturer), you can potentially receive compensation for your damages.
Tackling Daunting Insurance Companies
This is easier said than done, however. Insurance companies and opposing lawyers will do everything in their power to deny or undervalue your claim. They are for-profit businesses looking to save money with each and every victim claim.
Our Denver seat belt injury attorneys regularly fight insurance companies, avoiding their bullying and pressuring tactics.
With a blend of expertise, experience and impressive legal resources, we can prove that the seat belt failure caused your injuries and negotiate the true value of your damages.
Common Seat Belt Malfunctions:
Defective parts are a massive problem for the auto industry and seat belts are no exception. Whatever the cause, it can be the difference between life and death, or minor injuries and life-changing injuries.
Several seat belt failures happen, including:
When you wear a seat belt, you need to clip it in. This system is supposed to hold it securely even in big auto accidents. You assume it’s locked on when it clicks into place.
False latchings occur when the belt clicks in and appears secure but has actually failed to lock on to the security mechanisms.
In false latchings, even the smallest force can cause the clip to come undone – leaving the passenger vulnerable in a crash.
Similarly, unlatching is a fundamental failure of the security mechanism. A seat belt should hold a person in the seat, even if great force is exerted.
If the latch snaps, breaks or is ripped out of the clip, then it fails.
Anchor defects are the name given to various errors of placement and installation of the seat belt. The positioning and attachment must be optimal to avoid the belt being too loose, tight, or dangerous.
Poor anchoring points can also result in seat belts snapping or being ripped from their attachment points.
Rips and Tears
The fabric (or webbing) of the seat belt is designed and should be incredibly durable. When someone flies forward in an auto accident, it should withstand the forces and keep them safe.
If the strap was improperly made, it could snap, rip or tear – resulting in failure and serious injury.
What Kinds of Injuries Do Seat Belts Cause?
Seat belt malfunctions can result in passengers being flung out of their seats, into and through windshields, into windows, car ceilings and other passengers.
But seat belt injuries can also be caused by more than malfunctions.
A victim may also be injured by restrictive, excessive pressure and overtightening being applied to the body, resulting in serious injuries. In the past respective seat belts have caused broken ribs, collapsed lungs and friction burns.
Seat Belt injuries may include:
- Back, shoulder, and neck injury
- Brain Injury
- Burn injuries
- Catastrophic injury
- Chest injury
- Crushing injury
- Eye injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Head injury, including concussion
- Scarring & Disfigurement
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic brain injuries
Who Is Liable for a Seat Belt Injury in Denver?
To make any personal injury claim successful, it must be proven that someone else’s negligence directly caused your injuries.
In auto accidents that include a seat belt injury, there are usually at least two at-fault parties. The first is the seat belt manufacturer or car manufacturer.
For example, if the seat belt clip failed during the accident and you were flung forward into the windscreen, the manufacturer would be liable because their seat belt product fundamentally failed. Liability could fall under:
- Manufacturing Defects
- Design Defects
However, if another driver’s error triggered the accident, then they may also be liable. Both parties can be responsible. Yes, the seat belt injury wouldn’t have happened without the crash, but the seat belt injury should never have happened either.
This can make personal injury claims complex.
Our Denver seat belt injury lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the true cause and take the appropriate legal action against the at-fault parties.
Common Liable Parties for Seat Belt Injuries:
- Seat Belt manufacturers
- Car manufacturers
What If I Was Responsible For the Accident?
Even if you were responsible for the auto accident, you might still be able to file a claim against the seat belt manufacturer.
Although the crash was your fault, you still rely on and expect seat belts to protect you. If they fail, then the seat belt party may be liable.
In Colorado, we have comparative fault laws that require each party’s percentage of responsibility is determined. This percentage will then reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Our Denver seat belt injury attorneys will show evidence proving a direct link between your injuries and the seat belt failure.
Colorado Seat Belt Laws
Colorado state’s seat belt laws include:
- Every driver and front-seat passenger must wear a seat belt.
- Children under 15 years old must wear seat belts, regardless of seating position.
- Exemptions for seat belts are allowed for physically or psychologically disabling conditions.
- “A driver in violation of the seat belt law commits a Class B traffic infraction and is subject to a $65 fine and a $6 surcharge.”
- Vehicles manufactured before 1968.
More information on Colorado’s ‘Click it or Ticket’ program can be found here.
Which 3 Injuries Make Up The Seat Belt Syndrome?
Seat belt syndrome is the term given to any injury associated with the use of seat belts. It is defined classically as:
- Seat belt marks on the body
- Internal organ injuries
- And vertebral fractures
Seat belt syndrome is caused by force applied to the spine around the lap strap in auto accidents, causing the crushing of internal organs.
What Damages Could I Recover for a Seat Belt Injury in Denver?
Our Denver seat belt injury attorneys often help victims recover damages such as:
- Medical Expenses (past and future, since the date of the accident)
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Treatment Costs
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Earnings
- In-Home Care Expenses
- Childcare Costs
- Medical Equipment Costs
- Transportation Expenses
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Scarring / Disfigurement
- Long-Term Disability
- Potential Punitive Damages
- Property Damage
- Wrongful Death
What If Someone Has Been Killed Because a Seat Belt Failed?
In the nightmare scenario that someone has been killed because a seat belt failed to protect them in an accident, you can file a wrongful death claim.
These lawsuits are designed to help surviving families recover compensation for their suffering and expenses caused by the accident.
Contact a Seat Belt Injury Attorney in Denver, CO
With a combination of a proven track record, impressive financial resources, esteemed legal reputation and a compassionate approach, we believe there is no better team than Denver Personal Injury Lawyers.