How to Suspect Seat Belt Failure

Both serious and non-serious injuries to belted occupants. For example, if one belted occupant walks away while another belted occupant is paralyzed or suffers a serious head injury.

  • An injured occupant is found wearing a loose-fitting seat belt.
  • An occupant is found unbelted but either the occupant or other passenger insists he or she was seat belted.
  • An occupant in a frontal collision makes contact with the windshield.
  • A seriously injured belted occupant in a vehicle with limited structural damage. For example, if there is limited roof crush and limited intrusion into the occupant compartment during a rollover yet a belted occupant sustains head or neck injuries.
  • Serious injuries in a minor to moderate collision. When a restraint system works properly, occupants typically should not receive serious injuries in minor or moderate speed collisions.
  • The seat belt webbing is torn or ripped or the seat belt is pulled loose from its anchors.

If seat belt failure is suspected, make sure to take pictures or try to preserve the vehicle and seat belt system because these types of cases are difficult to detect. It is always safer to wear a seat belt than to not wear a seat belt. The most effective safety protection available today for passenger vehicle occupants is lap/shoulder safety belts combined with air bags. However, if a seat belt is defective, serious injuries can occur in addition to the injuries sustained from the accident itself. If you are injured as the result of a defect in a seat belt, you may have a products liability case against the manufacturer of the defective restraint system.

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