Seatbelts are features designed to protect the safety of drivers and passengers when a car accident occurs. However, a seatbelt can cause painful injuries to victims in a collision, especially if a seatbelt was defective or installed in the vehicle improperly. The Miami car accident attorneys at our Law Offices of Robert Dixon help people who have suffered a seatbelt injury pursue legal action against those responsible. When a driver, manufacturer, or other party has acted negligently, causing a victim's injuries, they can be held liable for the damages that result.
Our staff can help you determine which circumstances led to your injuries and make sure that the parties that contributed to your harm help cover the financial losses that you have suffered. Our lawyers offer experienced and knowledgeable legal advocacy to clients throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as other South Florida communities. If you have suffered car accident injuries that were caused or exacerbated by a seatbelt, contact our office today to set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.Seatbelt Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Seatbelts are designed to, and usually do, keep drivers and passengers safer when they are in a car accident, especially a rear-end collision or head-on crash. Various studies show that seatbelts reduce the risk of a fatality by almost 50 percent in many cases. However, seatbelts can also cause injuries. Some common situations in which seatbelts have injured drivers and passengers include lap seatbelts that cause spinal injuries or diagonal belts combined with lap belts that result in injuries to a victim's ribs, sternum, and upper abdomen.
Seatbelt injuries are not always immediately symptomatic and can even take days for a victim to realize. Symptoms for which you should monitor your condition or your loved one's condition in the aftermath of a collision include abdominal pain, especially in the hips or ribs, as well as bloody urine or stools, breathing problems, and leg weakness. Most often, a victim will experience stiffness in their neck, which is usually a sign of whiplash, but this could also indicate a more serious spinal cord injury.
When a car accident is a result of another driver's negligence or a defective product, people who suffer seatbelt injuries can recover compensation in a personal injury claim. To show negligence, a victim, known as a plaintiff, must prove that the other driver breached a duty of reasonable care, and that breach was the cause of the plaintiff's injuries. Product liability claims based on a defective seatbelt do not require showing negligence but instead a design or manufacturing defect in the seatbelt that directly resulted in the victim's injuries.
In cases in which a seatbelt has contributed to a plaintiff's injuries, the causation element of the claim may be somewhat more challenging to show. However, even if a victim is partially responsible for the injuries, such as by not wearing his or her seatbelt correctly, compensation can still be available. In Florida, victims are awarded damages based on each party's level of fault. Therefore, even if you were mostly at fault for causing your own injuries, you can still be entitled to partial compensation from another liable party. Once negligence is shown, damages may be awarded for past and future medical costs, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and property damage, as well as more subjective forms of damages.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with an Attorney in Miami
Injuries from seatbelts can be accompanied by a whole host of other injuries as well, any of which may require time missed from work and trips to the doctor, as well as associated expenses. The injury lawyers at our Law Offices of Robert Dixon represent victims in Miami, West Palm Beach, and other cities in pursuing legal claims against those responsible for their harm. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, call 877.499.4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options today.