Car Accident Seatbelt Injuries
Seatbelts are arguably the most important safety feature in vehicles today, designed to restrain drivers and passengers and prevent their bodies from colliding with the vehicle’s interior. They undoubtedly help save lives and reduce the risk of injury in serious car accidents.
However, it’s important to note that seatbelts can also cause serious injuries. Seatbelt-related injuries typically occur due to too much force being applied during the accident or from wearing the belt incorrectly.
When this happens, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of seatbelt-related injuries and seek treatment. You can also look into claiming car accident compensation if your injuries have been caused by the negligence of someone else.
If you suffered seatbelt injuries, you could be entitled to compensation with help from a California car accident lawyer.
Types of Seatbelt Injuries
1. Seatbelt syndrome and the seatbelt sign
Seatbelt syndrome is a form of chest trauma that occurs due to the excessive force generated by the seatbelt during a car crash. The injury manifests as bruising and redness on the chest area and can cause pain when pressure is applied. It may also indicate an injury to the internal organs, such as the spine.
The seatbelt sign is the name given to the visible sign of seatbelt syndrome, which includes red marks and seatbelt bruises on the chest. It can indicate a more severe injury, such as a bowel injury.
2. Abdominal injury
Excessive force from a seatbelt can also cause abdominal injuries. Symptoms usually include severe pain in the abdomen and difficulty breathing. Severe abdominal injury can cause internal bleeding, ruptured bowel, and intestinal perforation.
If you experience severe abdominal pain after a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately.
3. Chest and clavicle injuries
The chest is particularly vulnerable to injury in a car crash due to the large forces generated by seatbelts. Seatbelt injuries to the chest can range from minor bruises and abrasions to more severe rib fractures, sternum fractures, and internal injuries such as pneumothorax (collapsed lung), heart contusions, spleen ruptures, or hemothorax (blood accumulation in the pleural cavity).
Clavicle (collarbone) fractures are also common in seatbelt-related car accidents and can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. Depending on the severity, these fractures usually require medical attention and possibly surgery.
4. Injury to the bones and soft tissues of the neck and shoulders
The neck and shoulders are also vulnerable to injury in a car crash, especially if the seatbelt is not adjusted correctly. Damage to the neck or shoulder soft tissue can cause pain, stiffness, and even headaches. Fractures of the vertebrae can also occur, which can be incredibly serious and require immediate medical attention.
5. Seatbelt burns
A seatbelt burn is a skin injury caused by contact with the strap of a seat belt. The injury is usually red, and the skin becomes swollen and painful. Seatbelt burns are most common on the neck, face, chest, or upper arm.
The severity of a seatbelt burn depends on how long the person was wearing the belt before it was removed and how tight it was fastened. A severe burn may require medical attention to treat any damage to tissues or nerves in the area.
Treatment for Seatbelt Injuries
If you experience chest or sternum pain from a seatbelt-related accident, it is recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Chest X-rays can detect internal injuries, and the doctor may offer treatment for soft tissue damage, such as muscle strains or ligament tears.
Surgery may be required in more severe cases to repair broken bones or internal organ damage. Physical therapy can also help with pain relief and scar tissue formation.
Claiming Car Accident/Seatbelt Injury Compensation
Sustaining seatbelt injuries can cause physical pain, financial strain, emotional distress, and even loss of wages. If you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of another party, then you may be able to claim car accident compensation for all losses arising from the incident. This will help you to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other related costs.
Be sure to keep all documentation related to the accident and your injuries, as this will help support your claim.
It is also essential to speak to a qualified lawyer after an accident. They will:
- Assess all evidence related to your case
- Advise you on the best course of action
- Negotiate a settlement or take legal action if necessary
A good lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve for any seatbelt injuries sustained in a car accident.
Let Us Help You With Your Car Accident Claim
If you have suffered a seatbelt injury due to negligence or lack of maintenance, LA Century Law can help. Our experienced team of lawyers will assess your case and advise you on the best course of action. We understand how traumatic car accidents can be and are dedicated to helping you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Car Accident Seatbelt Injuries FAQs
What should I do if I experience chest or sternum pain after a car accident?
If you experience chest or sternum pain from a seatbelt-related accident, it is recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Chest X-rays can detect internal injuries, and the doctor may offer treatment for any injuries.
How much compensation can I receive for a seatbelt injury?
The amount of compensation varies from case to case and will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of damages suffered, and other factors. It is best to speak to a qualified lawyer who can assess all evidence related to your case and advise you on the best course of action.