Seatbelts are designed to keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle at all times. Unfortunately, during an accident this may not be the case. Occasionally during a high-impact accident in Florida, a seatbelt can become unlocked or unlatched. If this should occur, the impact of the crash can allow the seatbelt to come unlatched and cause the driver or passenger to be thrown around inside of the vehicle without any form of protection. In some instances a person may be ejected out of the vehicle.
There are statistics that show that wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of injury in an auto accident. What you don’t hear much about is that a malfunctioning seatbelt can increase your risk of injury. Defective malfunctioning seatbelts can cause permanent or fatal injury in a Florida car accident.
Injuries that can be caused by a Florida malfunctioning seatbelt include:
- Internal injuries
- Facial and neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Severe abdominal injuries
- Broken bones
- Fractures of the lumbar spine
5 of the most common seatbelt malfunctions:
- False Latching – This happens when a latch fails to lock and the plate pulls out of the buckle.
- Torn Seatbelts – Webbing of the seat belt can tear in an accident that would indicate the material was substandard or that something inside the car cut the seatbelt webbing.
- Seatbelt Retractor – If the retractor fails to properly lock, the passenger or driver can hit a dashboard, windshield, or steering wheel.
- Lap Belts -Using lap seatbelts alone has been known to crush organs and injure the spinal cord.
- Internal Unlatching – If the seatbelt latch is located on the front buckle, impact to the back of the buckle can cause it to unlatch.
If you were involved in a Florida car accident and injured as a result of a malfunctioning seatbelt, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. An unproven seatbelt malfunction can hurt your case and make it appear that you were not wearing a seat belt. Proving a seatbelt malfunction requires a thorough investigation by an experience and skilled attorney.