Suing A Car Manufacturer Because Of A Safety Belt Failure

Posted on: 27 April 2019

Safety belts, or seat belts, do save lives -- there's absolutely no doubt about it. That's why mandatory use of safety belts has become law in most of the nation and why many vehicles are now designed with automatic belts for drivers and front passengers.

But, there are times when a safety belt doesn't do its job because it's either poorly designed or made with subpar materials. When that happens, what could have been just a minor injury in a fender bender could turn serious -- or even deadly. Here's what you should know.

What is a safety belt failure?

Safety belt failures can take many different forms. Some of the most common problems that result in injuries include:

  • Safety belts that don't latch properly. They appear to be closed but the latch doesn't hold when there's a collision of any real force.
  • Safety belts that tear during a collision. Safety belts should be made of tough material and reinforced with stitching at certain points to withstand the force of an accident.
  • Safety belts that don't properly retract when the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop. When that automatic retraction fails, a victim can hit the dashboard or vehicle's window.

There are even times when a safety belt is so badly designed or manufactured that it can cause injuries during even minor incidents. For example, under the right circumstances, a defective safety belt could cause strangulation, damage to a victim's internal organs, or spinal cord injuries.

What rights do you have if you're a victim of a safety belt failure?

Not all car accident injury claims are alike. Some become incredibly complicated because there are multiple parties involved and multiple issues that have to be addressed.

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another driver, you likely have the right to compensation from the other driver. You can collect the cost of your medical bills, lost income, lost enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering, among other things. However, what you can collect from the other driver is usually limited to what his or her insurance company will pay. 

If you were at fault for the accident, you could still be entitled to compensation for the injuries caused or worsened by a defective safety belt. Manufacturers have a responsibility to see that the products they put on the market don't pose an unreasonable or unexpected hazard to users.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident due to a faulty safety belt, a personal injury lawyer will most likely want to pursue compensation from the manufacturer of the vehicle or safety belt in addition to what you might collect from any other driver. Talk to your attorney today about the possibility.

For more information, you will want to check out websites such as