If you were in a serious car crash, your life may well have been saved by an airbag and/or seatbelt. However, those safety devices don’t prevent all injuries. In fact, they can even cause injuries – even when they are working properly.
Common seat belt injuries
Seat belt injuries can include:
- Herniated or slipped discs
- Bruised or fractured ribs
- Sternum and chest injuries
- Abdominal injuries, including internal bleeding
- Shoulder injuries
The sheer force of a crash coupled with the restraint of the seat belt on the body often results in these injuries even if you were wearing the seat belt correctly.
Common airbag injuries
Abrupt, hard contact with an airbag can cause many of the injuries listed above as well as:
- Cervical spine injuries
- Strained and sprained tendons and ligaments, particularly in the hands, wrists and upper limbs
- Facial injuries
If the airbag or seat belt malfunctioned, the injuries can be even worse.
An at-fault driver can be held liable for any injuries suffered by another driver or passenger as the result of a crash, even if the injuries were caused by a safety feature in the vehicle. Of course, if an airbag and or seatbelt malfunctioned, the manufacturer of the vehicle may also be able to be held liable.
Airbag and seat belt injuries aren’t always immediately obvious – particularly if the victim of a crash suffered more obvious injuries like severe lacerations or broken bones. However, it’s essential to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries before accepting any kind of settlement for the crash. That’s one reason why it’s wise to consult with an experienced attorney before you settle with an insurance company or at-fault driver.