One of the best ways to keep yourself safe while in the car is to use your seat belt. Seat belts save thousands of lives every year. They are arguably the most important safety feature in a vehicle. However, seat belts can also be partly to blame for injuries if you are involved in a car accident. These injuries can range from moderate, such as light bruising, to very serious.
Common Seat Belt Injuries
The point of a seat belt is to keep your body in place during a crash. However, if there is a significant force exerted on your vehicle, then your body is forced against the immovable seat belt. This cause a range of injuries, including:
- Bruising—the force of your body against the seat belt will likely cause some bruising. The bruising can be tender and painful for days or even weeks after the accident.
- Collarbone Fractures—when the shoulder part of the seat belt is positioned correctly, the force of an accident should be distributed between your shoulder and collarbone. However, if the seat belt is in an incorrect position, then all of the force on the seat belt will be made with your collarbone, which can cause a painful fracture.
- Rib Fractures—depending on the positioning of the seat belt and the amount of force, rib fractures can be caused by the seat belt. In some cases, a broken rib can cause organ damage and other internal injuries.
- Broken Sternum—the force of a sudden stop can affect your chest and sternum as they make direct contact with the seat belt. The danger of this injury is that your sternum is near your heart and lungs, so any injury can affect those organs.
- Shoulder Injuries—the force of your shoulder against the seat belt can cause damage to the soft tissues of your shoulder. The force of the accident can tear the tendons and muscle fibers in your shoulder and could lead to permanent pain and discomfort.
- Abdominal Injuries—the pressure from the impact can result in damage in your abdomen and your internal organs. A common abdominal injury caused by seat belts is bowel perforation.
Contact an Accident Attorney
If you received a seat belt injury during a car accident, you might want to consult with an experienced car accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we’ve been representing car accident victims for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.