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Lap Belt Injuries in Motor Vehicles

Seatbelt Injuries Attorneys

Seatbelts are designed to save lives, but unfortunately, there are seatbelt problems as well. More specifically, lap belt designs can cause major internal injuries during a car crash. In fact, they may actually hurt you more than if you had not been wearing a seatbelt at all. Lap belt injuries are very dangerous during a car crash, and only the newest cars are required by federal law to have three-point seatbelts for all passengers. If you drive or ride in an older car, take some time to understand the injuries that can result from a lap belt only system. Remember, if your seatbelt malfunctions or otherwise causes injury, you have legal rights.

The United States government estimates that wearing a seatbelt of proper design could prevent about 6,000 deaths every year. These deaths are due to both traditional rear center lap belt installations and to people (especially children) wearing only the lap belt portion of a three-point seatbelt design.

Since September 2007, all cars have been required to have a three-point system for all backseat passengers, but this recent law means that millions of cars on the road today still only have lap belt designs in the rear center seat position. This design can cause major injuries, or even death. Contact us today using this form to tell us about your experiences. Lap belts have not been recalled, as other seatbelts have, but they are a major threat to your health.

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Some of the health problems stemming from wearing only a lap belt during a car crash include:

  • Hyperextension of the neck, if it hits the seat in front
  • Punctured internal organs, especially the bowel
  • Broken vertebrae
  • Dislocated vertebrae
  • Spinal cord laceration
  • Internal bleeding
  • Muscle strain

Basically, the lap belt cuts you in half during a car crash, since your upper and lower bodies continue to move forward.

One of the biggest dangers surrounding lap belt injuries is paralysis. A lap belt injury is prone to hurting your internal organs, but because of the location, it is also dangerous to your spine. Your spine – the vertebrae and the spinal cord inside – are the basis for your body’s movement. A spinal cord laceration will mean that you won’t be able to move anything controlled by the brain below that cut. Many lap belt victims deal with paralysis. Some have paralysis issues just with their legs, but others report paralysis in all four limbs.

In addition, if the vertebrae are broken or dislocated, they could cut the spinal cord on their shape edges when you are moved for treatment. So, even if the car crash itself does not cause paralysis, your actions afterward could.

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Some people in car accidents have noted slight pain and swelling due to lap belt injuries after the motor vehicle accident. However, after a few hours or even longer, they’ve collapsed, and some have even died. Lap belt injuries are notorious for looking minimal but actually being quite serious.

Having the sash should strap can eliminate lap belt seatbelt problems, since it stops your upper body from continuing forward and reduces the impact on your lower torso from the lap belt. The key is to wear your seatbelt properly, according to state laws. This is the best way to avoid all motor vehicle accident injuries. Always keep in mind that if you wear your seatbelt properly, it should function properly in the event of a car crash. If you’ve experienced seatbelt malfunction, contact us today.

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