Seat Belt Injuries

Seat belts save lives. Between the years 1975 and 2017, seat belts are estimated to have saved more than 374,000 lives, according to the National Safety Council. However, despite the increased safety that seat belts provide individuals, there are still times when seat belts themselves cause injuries. Here, we want to discuss the most common seat belt injuries that occur, as well as whether or not individuals can recover compensation for these types of injuries after an accident.

Most Common Seat Belt Injuries

The vast majority of seat belt injuries are relatively minor, particularly when compared to the types of injuries that an individual would sustain had they not been wearing their seat belt. However, seat belt injuries can also be severe and require extensive medical care.

Some of the more common minor seat belt injuries that individuals can sustain include bruising and abrasions. However, other types of seat belt injuries that may require more extensive medical treatment include the following:

  • Whiplash, which can affect the neck and upper back
  • Bruised or fractured ribs
  • Chest or sternum injuries
  • Torn muscles and tendons in the shoulder
  • Soft tissue damage to the abdomen area
  • Internal organ damage
  • Abdominal wall injuries
  • Vascular or arterial injuries

One of the main complications associated with seat belt injuries is the fact that the signs and symptoms of a seat belt injury may be delayed. It is not uncommon for individuals not to realize they have sustained a seat belt injury in the immediate aftermath of a crash. The signs and symptoms may show up hours or even days after the incident occurs.

Any person who has been involved in a vehicle accident needs to seek immediate medical care, even if they were wearing their seat belt and even if there are no immediate signs of an injury. Some vehicle accident injuries and seat belt injuries, including internal bleeding or internal organ damage, can cause lasting internal trauma long before the symptoms begin to appear. The quicker a person receives an evaluation from a doctor, the sooner they can get the care that they need.

Securing Compensation for Seat Belt Injuries

Individuals may be able to recover compensation for seat belt injury if the accident was caused by the negligent actions of another driver. Any type of injury sustained in an accident caused by another party should be included in the insurance settlement request or brought up during a personal injury trial, including seat belt injuries.

When you work with a skilled car accident lawyer in Martinsburg, you will have an advocate by your side seeking economic and non-economic damages on your behalf. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coverage of any emergency and ongoing medical bills
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy
  • Prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • Medical devices
  • Lost income and loss of future earnings
  • Property damage expenses
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages

The total amount of compensation paid to a seat belt injury victim in West Virginia will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding their claim. We strongly encourage working with a skilled personal injury attorney who can handle the insurance carriers on your behalf and file a personal injury lawsuit if one becomes necessary.


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