Phoenix Seatbelt Injury Attorneys
In Arizona, drivers and passengers – especially those under the age of 16 - must wear a seatbelt the entire time they are in a moving vehicle. Unfortunately, these safety devices can also cause issues during an accident. When this happens, you should speak to a Phoenix car accident lawyer who can help you claim the compensation you may deserve.
Most often, as the seatbelt tightens and holds a person in place, it can place stress on a person’s abdomen, chest, internal organs, and bones.
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Many seatbelt injuries do not present symptoms right away following the car accident. Accident victims should know what to look for, so they can better understand if they sustained a seatbelt injury. The most common symptoms are:
- Pain between the hips and ribs, which can indicate damage to the kidneys
- Bruises and swelling, which could indicate internal bleeding
- Difficulty breathing, indicating chest injuries
- General weakness or fatigue, most often caused by internal injuries
- Neck stiffness, most commonly due to whiplash or a spinal cord injury
- Pain that doesn’t go away
The most common seatbelt injuries include:
- Chest injuries: The sternum is a bone located in the middle of the chest. As the seatbelt places pressure on the sternum during an impact, the bone can become fractured. This injury is extremely painful, and the broken bone can also cause other complications.
- Abdominal injuries: Seatbelts are strapped directly across a person’s abdomen. In the event of a crash, they can dig into the skin and cause a person to sustain abrasions or internal organ trauma. In addition, the lap belt portion of a three-point harness can cause injuries to a person’s hips, intestines, kidneys, or gallbladder.
- Rib injuries: Like a broken sternum, broken ribs are an extremely painful injury and can cause complications, such as a punctured lung.
- Shoulder injuries: Most seatbelts today are strapped across at least one shoulder. In a sudden stop, the muscles and tendons of the shoulder can be pulled or torn, resulting in a reduced range of motion.
Typically, seatbelt and auto manufacturers are not be held liable for seatbelt injuries that arise after a collision. In most cases, the person who caused the accident will be liable for any injuries arising from the crash, even those caused by a seatbelt.
Determining who was at fault for an accident is not as easy as it may sound. This is particularly true in the case of a hit-and-run, or a minor accident where nobody exchanged their information.
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Arizona’s comparative negligence standard will affect anyone who suffers injuries as a result of failing to wear a seatbelt. Yes; you can still file a claim, but you may only recover a percentage of your losses. However, it is the at-fault driver who has the burden of proving that your injuries would not have otherwise been suffered had a seatbelt been worn.
We have seen many people who were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of an accident. Or people who were wearing a seatbelt and the seatbelt failed. All these factors need to be considered, because you can expect a "seatbelt defense" in the insurance company of the driver who caused the collision to begin with.
If you have been in a car accident in Phoenix and sustained injuries from a seatbelt, contact Breyer Law Offices, P.C., at (480) 588-8508. We will conduct a full investigation to determine who was responsible for the crash, and we will be aggressive in holding them liable to you. Don’t think you have to fight this alone. Call us today and speak to our team – we have experience getting successful outcomes in cases just like yours.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer