Bridgeport Seatbelt Injury Lawyer

A seatbelt injury lawyer in a glass-walled office working on a client's case for them.If you have sustained significant injuries due to a seatbelt in a vehicle, an attorney may be able to help you fight for a settlement that covers your existing and future damages. In a seatbelt injury case, you may file a claim with another driver’s insurance company, but you might also have to work with third parties, such as the car manufacturer, in order to hold all liable parties responsible.

Your lawyer can help you better understand what the proceedings of your seatbelt injury case may look like.

Bert McDowell Injury Law is a locally trusted Bridgeport personal injury law firm that can manage an auto accident claim like yours. In a seatbelt injury case, you may encounter a difficult road toward resolution, as seatbelt device manufacturers may be reluctant to accept liability for injuries.

Instead of trying to take on big companies on your own, work with a Bridgeport seatbelt injury lawyer who can use their experience and knowledge to strengthen your claim’s chances of success while also reducing the burden placed upon you and your family.

An initial consultation with an attorney from Bert McDowell Injury Law is completely free, and we promise never to charge any upfront fees for claim representation. Your first appointment leaves you with no obligation to continue with our services, but it can be a great time to gain a better understanding of the legal process and what damages could be available.

Call (203) 590-9169 or contact us online to schedule your free case review today.

What Common Mistakes Can a Bridgeport Seatbelt Injury Attorney Help Me Avoid?

Seat belts were introduced as standard car safety equipment in 1958 to prevent the force of impact from ejecting a passenger from their seat, which can make injuries much worse. While seatbelts are relied upon to keep a person contained in their seat, sometimes this layer of crash protection can have more of a negative effect than a positive one.

A seatbelt can contribute to — or even be the driving factor in — an accident victim’s injuries. Serious cases can leave a person with lifelong physical traumas, disability, or fatal injuries.

An accident can be a devastating experience, and the last thing you want to do is risk the value of your own damage settlement. Mistakes can happen anywhere from communication to task management, but with an attorney, you will minimize the risk of encountering a situation where you can make a detrimental mistake.

If you have sustained a recent seatbelt injury, a Bridgeport seatbelt injury attorney can help you protect your damage recovery claim.

Some of the most common mistakes that claimants make after an auto accident claim include:

  1. Apologizing for the accident: Even a simple “I’m so sorry, are you okay?” can be detrimental to your damage claim. It is best to keep communication with any other involved motorists to a minimum and simply exchange insurance information if a first responder is not on the scene to help with that task.
  2. Waiting too long to carry out tasks: The longer you wait to carry out a responsibility during the process of an auto accident claim, the more time the other party has to find avenues for undervaluing your claim. There is a statute of limitations on all auto accident insurance claims and lawsuits, and waiting too long in between the steps of litigation may jeopardize a damage claim’s validity. Valuable evidence may also be lost, and witness statements could be called into question the longer the duration between the accident and the claim.
  3. Assuming the insurance company will act in your best interest: In Connecticut, an accident victim has the opportunity to fight for a settlement from the negligent party’s insurance. These insurance claim adjusters are not your representatives and have no obligation to help you maximize your claim’s worth. Nevertheless, your adjuster may have a warm and friendly demeanor that leaves you trusting their intentions. The best way to ensure that you are not being undervalued in the settlement process is to retain quality representation for yourself.

When Is a Seatbelt Manufacturer Liable for Injuries Sustained in an Accident?

A typical car accident will involve an at-fault driver who made a mistake, like failing to stop at a stop sign. In a seatbelt injury accident, the crash victim’s injuries may have instead been caused by a flaw in the seatbelt mechanism or in the design of the vehicle as a whole.

The injuries could also have been made worse by the defective seatbelt, despite the fact that there may have been injuries even if the belt had worked properly.

Your seatbelt injury lawyer will help you investigate your accident and determine the role the seatbelt played in causing or worsening your injuries. They can then help you form a claim against the seatbelt’s manufacturer — or other appropriate parties — in order to recover the damages you have suffered.

Claims can be filed on the basis of strict liability, which argues that the product was given to the consumer in an unacceptably dangerous state. In some cases, it may be necessary to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, such as by making mistakes in the design phase of the product that should have been caught or by installing the belts to substandard processes.

The injury victim may also have a claim when they were not given the proper warnings or instructions to operate the seatbelt as intended.

What Seatbelt Malfunctions Contribute to Belt-Related Injuries?

It is estimated that roughly 40,000 people die every year from fatal car accidents, but seatbelt usage can prevent about 50% of those tragic losses.

Unfortunately, seat belts can fail just like every other mechanism and device. When one does, the resulting harm inflicted can be extreme.

Most seatbelt malfunctions are caused by misuse or a manufacturing defect and may not even be noticeable until the device is truly needed — giving it the opportunity to fail catastrophically at the exact wrong moment.

Among the most common seatbelt malfunctions are these commonly reported factors that lead to seatbelt injuries in auto accidents:

  • The seatbelt fails to remain fixed
  • Factory problems, such as a mismatched buckle or faulty installation
  • The belt retractor is worn, causing it to jam during an accident
  • Tensioning systems fail to work correctly
  • Belt materials inflict injury
  • Designs fail to account for an average range of body types
  • Faulty materials or design leading to the belt breaking during an accident
  • Lack of belt maintenance
  • Failure to account for design aspects of the seat, steering wheel, airbags, etc

How Do Seatbelts Work to Keep Passengers Safe?

Seatbelts have become an essential safety feature on modern vehicles — and even other fast-moving attractions, like roller coasters. These belts work by spreading the force of a crash across the stronger parts of the body, such as the shoulders, rib cage, and pelvis.

This mechanism can also prevent the passenger from flying forward and being ejected from their vehicle.

Modern seatbelts are designed to work in tandem with tensioning systems and airbags. Without a seatbelt, a passenger may collide with an airbag and endure crushing injuries or face serious head injuries such as a cracked skull or broken neck if ejected from the vehicle.

What Are the Most Common Seat Belt Injuries?

Because seatbelts are such a standard feature that protects passengers from worsening injuries, when the safety mechanism fails, the repercussions can be severe.

Roughly 90% of people make it a habit to wear their seat belts regularly in the U.S. In instances where a passenger is not protected by their safety belt or is restrained by a defective belt, the crash victim can endure more severe injuries.

Your injuries will vary depending on the type of seat belt accident you experienced.

A seatbelt that is tightened improperly or does not disengage can cause injuries such as:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal lacerations or tears
  • Liver, bowel, and mesenteric injuries
  • Lumbar spine injuries
  • Shoulder and collarbone injuries
  • Dislocations, fractures, and breaks

A seatbelt that disengages and does not restrain the passenger to their seat can lead to injuries like:

  • Head injuries such as a cracked skull
  • Neck injuries like a break or fracture
  • Serious burns
  • Lacerations
  • Vascular injuries
  • Thoracic injuries
  • Chest and rib injuries

What Damages Can I Recover From a Seatbelt Injury Accident in Bridgeport?

As expenses begin to pile up and the responsibility of paying bills sets in, a claimant may feel nervous about how they will manage to pay all of the costs of their accident.

When you’ve been impacted by the negligence of another driver or a car part manufacturer, you can seek compensation to cover the resulting damages. A seatbelt injury accident settlement will consist of specific damages that the liable party takes responsibility for.

After enduring an injury caused by a seatbelt, a claimant can expect to recover a variation of damage expenses, including:

  • Medical bills, including future expenses such as the cost of continued treatment
  • Lost wages and compensation for wages that a claimant will no longer earn in the future because of an injury
  • Property damage, including vehicle replacement or reimbursement for lost possessions that were damaged or destroyed in an accident
  • Emotional damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish

What Should I Do After a Seatbelt Accident?

The immediate moments following the impact of an accident can be overwhelming — but they are also a crucial time for collecting evidence that can help prove fault and damages in your seatbelt injury auto accident claim.

While an attorney can aid a claimant during their accident claim, there are some ways an accident victim can protect their case before a claim is even filed:

  1. Call 911 and report the accident
  2. Seek medical attention for all related injuries
  3. Take photos of your injuries, along with their progression over the following weeks
  4. Commit to doctor-recommended follow-up care
  5. Wait to have the vehicle repaired, as your seat belts can provide crucial crash evidence
  6. Document the damages and losses incurred
  7. Contact an attorney

A Bridgeport Seatbelt Injury Law Firm To Support Your Accident Claim

When you’ve been hurt by a dangerous seatbelt, Bert McDowell Injury Law can help you weigh your options and defend your legal rights to pursue compensation. Having representation can help you understand the path forward for your claim while helping you accurately value the damages you have suffered.

Seatbelt manufacturers have a lot of legal power behind them, but so can you. We will help you fully investigate your accident and determine the role your seatbelt or its installation played in the final state of your injuries.

Don’t be intimidated by big companies when you have medical bills and other costs piling up. Instead, bring on Bert!

Call (203) 590-9169 or contact us online today to schedule a free, no-risk case review with our Bridgeport seatbelt injury attorney team.