Proving Liability in a Defective Seat Belt Lawsuit

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Many months and possibly years of investigation go into a defective seat belt lawsuit. An accusation against an auto manufacturer isn’t a light matter. This was the case for one lawsuit, which awarded $5,000,000 to a claimant who accused Honda Motor Company of negligence. After a low speed rollover, the man struck his head against the roof of the car, causing severe damage that eventually led to quadriplegia. The court decided that the seatbelt was responsible for this injury.

When a seat belt doesn’t do the job it’s been designed to do, and it results in a serious injury, responsibility has to fall somewhere. Ultimately it falls on the manufacturer of defective auto parts, but it can also fall on other parties.

Who Is Liable for Defective Seat Belt Issues?

Seat belt manufacturers, automakers and other parties could be involved. However, the following should be viewed specifically during the case:

  • Detailed flaws or defects in design
  • Substandard manufacturing materials
  • Failure to test safety of seat belts

Any of these could be grounds for a successful lawsuit. In other words, defending parties must prove as much as possible that they not only manufactured relatively flawless products, but also tested them meticulously to ensure they work. If by chance there is a problem, manufacturers must also issue recalls immediately and communicate clearly that a problem exists. That, however, is by no means covering the error and avoiding a lawsuit—but it directly affects the outcome of a lawsuit.

When your life is on the line, and a seat belt is supposed to protect you, that’s saying plenty about the trust you put in a manufacturer to design and build a qualified product or material.

What Are Typical Seat Belt Failures and Defects?

They can come in a variety:

  • Buckle or trigger problems
  • Cable failures
  • Unsafe locations in the vehicle
  • Latch problems
  • Easy ripping or tearing
  • Retractor defects

And most of the time, it’s a combination of issues, multiplying the severity of the issue. Common injuries can be anywhere from a whiplash case to even brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. Of course, if you ever do get into a serious accident, and that seat belt isn’t there to protect you, the incident can even cause death.

Explore Your Options After a Car Accident Injury

But the fact is many prospective clients don’t bother pursuing it, thinking that an accident is nothing more than an accident. They don’t often think that while it happened, certain issues could’ve been prevented.

If you’ve ever faced an issue where your seat belt somehow potentially failed, and you’re recovering from a car accident—causing severe bodily harm—you may want to contact a qualified attorney. Don’t hesitate: you deserve the compensation to get you through your tough ordeal.

Written on behalf of Stewart Eisenberg for AskTheLawyers.com™

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