One of the most important things you do when you get into the car is to buckle your seatbelt. While your seatbelt could save your life, that does not mean it can't cause some problems, too. In fact, a seatbelt could be a contributing factor to some of your injuries, and you may be entitled to compensation if those injuries impact your well-being and financial status.
Seatbelt Injuries to the Back
Your spine may become injured as a result of your seatbelt, even though you might not expect it. Even if a seatbelt catches you in your seat, the sheer force of impact and the belt's reaction may cause a bad reaction. Those injuries include spinal fractures, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, whiplash, and herniated discs.
Seatbelt Injuries to the Abdomen
Seatbelts can cause serious damage to the internal organs inside your abdomen. As a result, your stomach, intestines, and other organs could bruise, tear, or bleed. If you do not receive adequate treatment, your injuries can worsen. Internal bleeding is especially dangerous, and you may even require surgery to treat your injuries.
Seatbelt Injuries to the Chest
Chest injuries are often the first noticeable injuries, at least on the outside. Chest injuries appear to be simply bruises, cuts, and rashes where the seatbelt rested upon your chest. Unfortunately, these injuries can be much worse than they appear.
Inside the chest, you may experience a fracture to the ribs or sternum. Seatbelts can also damage lungs, cartilage, and other tissues inside your body. Ensure that you see a doctor after an auto accident, even if you don't feel deeper injuries immediately after the incident.
When Are Seatbelts Dangerous?
Simply because seatbelts can cause injuries does not mean they will, so you should always wear your seatbelt when a vehicle is in operation. Seatbelts are most commonly considered dangerous when people wear them incorrectly, perhaps because they find seatbelts uncomfortable. Sit up straight and ensure that you wear both the lap component and the shoulder component of your seatbelt.
What Should You Do After a Seatbelt Injury?
If you are in a car accident and experience injuries that result from your seatbelt, you should seek legal counsel. You may have a personal injury case against the individual or entity that caused or contributed to the accident and your injuries. Contact companies like Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez Law Firm to learn more.