Las Vegas Seat Belt Injury Compensation Lawyers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 50% of the people who die in auto accidents do not have a seat belt at the time of the accident. Essentially, failing to wear a seat belt while driving or as a passenger greatly increases your chances of dying in an auto accident.
Most states, including Nevada, have strict seat belt regulations that require drivers and their passengers to wear seat belts. Besides reducing auto accident fatalities, seat belts also reduce and prevent serious injuries in car accidents. Generally, seat belts prevent car occupants from being thrown out of the car during an accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 47% of the people who died in auto accidents in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. In the same year, wearing a seat belt saved the lives of approximately 15,000 people involved in serious car accidents.
However, despite these statistics and the obvious advantages of wearing a seat belt, there are rare occurrences where a driver or a passenger sustains injuries because they were wearing a seat belt. Typically, a seatbelt can aggressively hold back a car occupant and cause severe injuries, including broken ribs. In such cases, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.
If you are in Las Vegas, NV, and you or a loved one has sustained injuries from wearing a seat belt during a car accident, we are here for you. Our skilled seat belt injury attorneys at Heidari Law Group will help you obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Seat Belt Injuries Facts
Despite seat belts reducing auto accidents by approximately 50% and effectively saving many lives, studies have also shown seat belts to cause serious injuries. Seat belts injuries are mostly due to the abrupt and aggressive restraint of passengers during a car accident. The forceful restraint usually leads to stomach, chest, back, or neck injuries.
Medical professionals attribute structure fractures and abdominal injuries in an auto accident to seat belts. Additionally, they associate back injuries or injuries to the spine with lap seat belts. The diagonal seat belt can also cause serious ribs, sternum, and upper abdomen injuries. Victims of a seat belt accident may also sustain bowel injuries which can be fatal if not diagnosed early enough.
While seat belt injuries can take some days or even weeks before they become apparent, there are several symptoms you can look out for, including abdominal pain, trouble breathing, stiff neck, weak legs, and blood in urine or stool, or both. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms after an auto accident.
Seat Belt Injuries
Even though seat belts are meant to protect a motor vehicle’s occupants in an accident, in some instances, they also cause injuries. These injuries range from mild to serious, and in some cases, victims risks health complications for ignoring or downplaying serious injuries. Typically, victims wrongly assume they do not need medical attention since they were ‘wearing a seat belt’ during the accident.
However, many injuries due to wearing a seat belt do not become apparent until weeks or months later. By then, the victim may have developed a health complication, including a permanent disability. Even though they are rare and significantly minimal than non-seat belt accident injuries, seat belt injuries can still be very serious. Some of the most common seat belt injuries include:
- Skin abrasions: These injuries affect the stomach area and are the most common seat belt injuries. You should seek immediate medical attention for skin abrasions, including skin cuts and bruises, as they can be signs of an internal injury.
- Traumatic head and brain injuries: Injuries affecting the head and brain are the second most common seat belt injuries.
- Shoulder injuries: These occur mostly when the impact of the seat belt on the shoulder causes soft tissue injuries to shoulder bones. The injuries may lead to limited use of the affected shoulder, and a victim may require physical therapy to correct or heal.
- Broken rib bones: Many drivers and passengers experience broken or fractured ribs due to seat belt restraint. These injuries require immediate medical treatment to correct and determine if the injuries have affected the lungs as they can lead to breathing complications in the future. However, you can treat a minor rib injury or bruising at home, by icing it.
- Spinal cord injuries: These injuries are common where the lap belt is fastened on tight.
- Stomach or abdominal injuries: While stomach injuries are rare, a car accident victim should seek immediate medical care in case of any abdominal pain to rule out serious complications.
- Other injuries. An auto accident victim may also experience other seat belt injuries, including disfigurement, strangulation, whiplash, and concussion.
Preventing Seat Belt Injuries
There are several steps one can take to prevent severe seat belt injuries during a car accident, including:
- Seat belt adjustments and extensions. In some instances, the seat belts of a new car might not fit. However, most car dealers and manufacturers offer seat belt adjusters and extenders that tighten or loosen the seat belts to fit you better.
- Install seat belts for older cars. If your car does not have seat belts, you can request the vehicle manufacturer or dealer to install them for you. Lack of seat belts is common in older vintage cars with lap belts.
- Avoid wearing the seat belt on top of your belly if you are pregnant. While the law requires pregnant women to wear a seat belt, you should wear it differently, including away from the neck, not on the stomach area but across the hips and at the pelvic bone. You should also ensure your belly is not touching the steering wheel.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, the correct way to wear a seatbelt is: “The shoulder belt away from your neck (but not off your shoulder) and across your chest (between your breasts), making sure to remove any slack from your seat belt with the lap belt secured below your belly so that it fits snugly across your hips and pelvic bone.”
Contact a Las Vegas Seat Belt Injury Compensation Lawyers
An auto accident can leave you with both physical and psychological injuries. Where the car accident is due to another’s negligence, Nevada law entitles you to compensation. While auto accident claims are generally complex, personal injury claims for seat belt injuries further complicate the legal process. Since seat belts are meant to keep you safe, a negligence claim involving seat belt injuries always raises eyebrows. Consequently, insurers will try to reduce or deny you compensation for your injuries.
If you are in Las Vegas, NV, and you or a loved one has sustained seat belt injuries in a car accident due to another’s negligence, there is no need to worry. Our skilled Las Vegas seat belt injury compensation lawyers at Heidari Law Group have broad experience handling auto accident claims, including those involving seat belt injuries. We believe you need both compassion and compensation and will fiercely fight for your right to recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and to learn more about our services.
Get a Free Consultation
If you need a personal injury attorney with a history of success, good communication at all stages of your case, and who will help you manage and settle your case call Abogados Con Experiencia. We will handle your case so that you can heal and put your life back together.
Are we a good fit?
- Have you suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by someone else?
- Does the person who is responsible for these damages have insurance?
- Were there significant injuries that caused hospital visits or missed work?
- Did the accident happen within the last 24 months?
If you answered YES to ALL of the questions, Abogados Con Experiencia may be a good option. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our team will lay out your options and answer all of your questions regarding your potential case. It is our job to determine how to best protect your rights and minimize the impact of an injury caused by another’s carelessness thus giving you the ability to focus on recovery.