Virginia seatbelt injury attorneys
Offering legal help to Virginians injured by restraints during serious auto accidents
You may have heard or seen the slogan “Click it or ticket,” in a public service announcement or on a sign by a highway. Most of us consider wearing a seatbelt while driving to be a basic safety rule to live by. However, while seatbelts certainly can help you stay safe during an accident, ironically, they can also be dangerous and cause severe internal injuries.
We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys have worked with countless clients who were hurt during a car accident by their own seatbelt. Seatbelt injuries can be serious — even resulting in a long recovery, high medical bills, and a great deal of pain and suffering. If you have been injured by your seatbelt in a car accident, you may be able to recover compensation. Contact our firm at (804) 413-6777, to find out how we can help you.
How can your seatbelt cause injuries?
Seatbelts are usually what we count on to keep us safe during an accident. In most states, it’s illegal to drive without one securely fastened. However, sometimes seatbelts end up being the thing that causes the most harm. Common seatbelt injuries include:
- Abdominal trauma
- Ruptured spleen
- Lung damage
- Kidney damage
- Shoulder, neck and chest injuries
- Fractured or broken ribs
- Traumatic brain damage
- Spinal cord damage
The most alarming thing about seatbelt injuries is that most are internal. Internal damage is dangerous as it can be difficult to diagnose without a thorough examination by a doctor. That fact, combined with the reality that shock and adrenaline can dull pain, can mean that after an accident, you may not realize the extent of your own injuries, and you may not seek out proper medical attention.
After a serious accident, you should always see a healthcare professional, if you believe you are injured or not. They can give you a thorough examination and diagnose any potential injuries. If you develop more injuries or pain afterward, be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment, even if your initial bill of health was clear.
Seatbelts are designed to withstand the force of a full-grown adult slamming against them. They can help ensure that you are not thrown around or out of the vehicle during a collision. They can minimize your injuries and even save your life.
But it is also possible that seatbelts can malfunction, causing you harm, rather than keeping you safe. The most common seatbelt malfunctions include:
Internal unlatching: The lock system that keeps the seatbelt in place can malfunction, allowing the belt to become unlatched with small levels of force.
Retractor lock failure: When the seatbelt is suddenly yanked forward, it should automatically lock in place to keep you secure. But this locking mechanism can become faulty and not lock despite your being in an accident.
Protruding release button: Some car models have release buttons on seatbelts that protrude far enough to allow them to be accidentally unlocked during a wreck.
And while these malfunctions are certainly dangerous, one of the most frightening facts about seatbelts is this: your seatbelt can work exactly as it was designed and still cause your injuries. Its safety feature is designed to restrict you. And while this design has helped save many lives, it can also break bones, cause internal bleeding, and leave you catastrophically injured.
Seatbelt malfunctions and liability
If your injuries were caused by a malfunctioning seatbelt, you may be able to claim damages from the manufacturer of your car or the seatbelt maker. Manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure that their products are free of defects, especially if the product is a safety device. In the case of malfunctioning seatbelts, manufacturers can be found liable, and you may be able to file a claim against them to receive compensation.
You may be wondering though: what you can do if your seatbelt injuries were caused by a seatbelt that was functioning correctly? Well, you still have options if the car accident was not your fault. In accidents caused by another person’s negligence, you can file a claim against the at-fault person’s insurance to recover the costs of the accident. While seatbelts often cause injuries without malfunctioning, that doesn’t mean you can’t receive compensation for the injuries you suffered.
What you can recover
A key step to filing a claim is understanding which costs you can recover damages for. Many people going into a personal injury case assume they can receive compensation only for their medical bills, but that’s not true. There are two types of costs you can recover: economic and non-economic.
Economic costs center around your financial losses. You can be compensated for expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and lost job opportunities. Non-economic costs cover non-financial losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and a lowered quality of life.
Know that your chances of getting the highest possible compensation for economic and non-economic costs increase a great deal when you have experienced seatbelt injury lawyers by your side.
The dedicated legal team you need
As former U.S. Marines, our partners, Ken Gibson and John Singleton, understand discipline, dedication, and the hard work it takes to win a Virginia seatbelt injury case. We never leave a person behind, and that includes our clients. If we at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys represent you, we will fight tooth and nail to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Call us at (804) 413-6777, and tell us about your case. We are Virginia car accident attorneys, and we are ready to put together an action plan to get you the highest possible settlement available.
Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.
It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more
Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.