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Seat Belt Injuries | Michigan Car Accident Lawyers

Buckling up is one of the most basic things people can do to decrease the risk of injury in a car accident.  However, unfortunately, seat belts do not always provide the degree of safety that the restraints were theorized to provide.  Even though seat belts have been standard safety features in cars for over 40 years, it is too often the case that they fail to work properly during a car accident.

When someone is involved in a car accident, that person continues forward in the motion of the car unless restrained by a seat belt.  A properly designed seat belt seeks to distribute the force of this restraint across the body rather than concentrating it at one point, where the impact would be most severe.  This is why most modern seat belts feature a combination of a lap belt and a shoulder strap.  This design is supposed to distribute the force of restrain on the hard bones of the pelvis and shoulder.  These parts of the body are best able to absorb the force without causing injury.

Unfortunately, seat belts do not always work the way they are supposed to work.  Sometimes, seat belts have ineffective latching mechanisms, which can result in the seat belt becoming unfastened during a car accident.  This can lead to a particularly bad result in that the seat belt does not provide the restraint it is supposed to, but it does cause the body to jerk in certain ways as the force of impact jerks a person out of the safety restraint.

Seat belt injuries can also occur when the seat belt remains fastened during the accident but fails to properly distribute force onto the pelvis and shoulder bones.  This can occur because the seat belt is improperly warn, such as when a child removes a shoulder strap because it bothers their neck, or because the seat belt is not properly designed for the users of the car.

When the seat belt has a defective latch or when the design of the seat belt is defective, the manufacturer of the seat belt and the car can be held legally responsible for injuries that result from the defects.  The type of lawsuit that is filed is called a products liability action.  In recent years, products liability actions have become very difficult to win because of changes in Michigan law.  Therefore, it is very important to hire a good lawyer for your case.

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