How Can Seat Failure Contribute to Car Accident Injuries?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Merrida Coxwell with Coxwell & Associates.
Every part of a vehicle is required to meet certain safety standards in their design and manufacturing; this includes the seats in a car. Although less talked about than other types of defective car parts such as airbags, tires, and even seat belts, the seats in which a vehicle driver and passengers sit actually play an important role in basic safety during a crash. In fact, if a seat is not designed correctly, even a working seatbelt and airbag may not be able to protect the occupant like they’re supposed to.
Seat backs that collapse in a car wreck put occupants at much higher risk for a serious or even fatal injury.
Seat failures are particularly common in rear-end collisions; when a vehicle is struck from behind, the jolt can cause poorly designed/manufactured seats to buckle or collapse. In fact, what might have been a minor accident otherwise can be extremely dangerous if a seat fails.
Vehicle designers and manufacturers are required to make seats that can withstand extreme impacts; when a seat fails to do so, this could indicate dangerous negligence somewhere down the line. If you suspect the seats in your car may be defective, it’s important to take pictures from multiple angles and reach out to a car accident expert.
Recalls can take time and may be difficult to initiate.
After a defective seat is discovered, it may take years for the manufacturer to initiate a recall; in the meantime, car accident attorneys recommend reporting the seat failure to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), maintaining possession of the vehicle (or at least the seat) until it can be reviewed by independent experts, and reaching out to an experienced car accident attorney in your area. These attorneys typically offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means clients don’t pay for their services unless they are able to make a financial recovery in their lawsuit. This allows the injured party and their family to benefit from the skilled investigation of vehicle safety experts while an experienced legal team takes care of the complicated footwork.
Injuries associated with seat failure in a vehicle collision include:
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Tendon injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Even if an injury seems minor at first, it’s important to seek medical care.
After any kind of vehicle accident, it’s important to seek medical care. Even if someone does not feel injured or feels that their injury is minor, seeking medical treatment right away is the best way to protect not only their health but also the legitimacy of their case. Waiting to seek care can have a negative impact not only on your chances for a full recovery, but it may also inspire the liable party to claim you couldn’t have been that injured if you were able to wait to seek care.
The problem with some of the above injuries is that they may not become symptomatic until days or even weeks after an accident. If the driver or passengers do end up requiring ongoing medical care, these and other expenses can be included in a successful claim against the manufacturer.
To learn more about how seat failure contributes to injuries in a car accident, or for help investigating a claim, reach out to a car accident attorney in your area.