Although seat belts are intended to protect vehicle occupants from serious injuries in a motor vehicle crash, when these devices have design or manufacturing defects, they can inflict injuries upon an accident victim or worsen the injuries they suffered because of the accident. Defective seat belts could fail to restrain a vehicle occupant in a crash, or they might place unintended forces on the body of someone in a vehicle crash.
Contact a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer at Carlton Bennett if you believe you were injured by a defective seat belt. We’ll provide you with a free consultation when you call (757) 260-3675, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live.
What Are Some Common Seatbelt Defects?
Common seatbelt defects include:
- Defective latches – Design or manufacturing defects in the latch assembly may cause a seat belt to become unbuckled when an occupant’s body puts force on the seat belt in an accident, thereby failing to restrain the person’s body.
- Defective straps – Poorly designed straps, defective manufacturing, or use of low-quality materials may cause seat belt straps to fray, rip, or tear, weakening the seat belt’s ability to restrain a vehicle occupant in an accident.
- Defective design – Issues with the design of the entire seat belt system may render the seatbelt unable to properly restrain someone in a crash.
- Defective tensioners – Seat belts are designed to quickly put tension on the belt when a vehicle comes to a sudden stop, either due to hard braking or due to an accident. If the tensioner on a seatbelt has a defect, it may not put tension and improperly restrain a vehicle occupant in an accident, or it may apply too much tension and cause someone to suffer injury or become unable to escape the vehicle after an accident.
Who Is Liable For Injuries Caused by a Defective Seatbelt?
Parties could potentially be responsible for injuries that are caused or made worse due to seat belt defects include:
- The seat belt manufacturer – Many seat belt assembly systems are manufactured by third-party auto parts suppliers who then sell the parts to the vehicle manufacturers
- Component manufacturers – Certain specific components of the seat belt, such as the latch or the fabric of the belt itself, may be made by other companies who sell them to the seat belt maker for the final assembly of the seat belt system
- Auto manufacturers – Auto manufacturers who install defective seat belts may be held liable for injuries that result
- Mechanics/auto shops – If a mechanic negligently or intentionally installs a defective seat belt when fixing a car, they may have liability to someone injured by the defect
How Carlton Bennett Could Help
When you have been hurt or suffered more severe injuries due to a seatbelt defect, let the Virginia Beach defective seatbelt attorneys of Carlton Bennett help you pursue compensation by:
- Investigating the accident, including retaining engineering experts to examine your vehicle and the seat belt system to determine if seat belt defects caused you to suffer injuries in an accident or made injuries you otherwise would have sustained in the crash even worse.
- Documenting your losses, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
- Identifying the parties that can be held liable for your injuries and potential sources of compensation.
- Filing your claims with the at-fault parties, aggressively pursuing a negotiated settlement that provides you with fair compensation for your injuries.
- Pursuing litigation, including going to trial if necessary, when a fair settlement cannot be reached in your case.
If you were injured in a car accident or if you suffered worse injuries due to a defective seat belt, reach out to Carlton Bennett today for a free, no-obligation case review.