Defective Seatbelt Personal Injury Claims in Illinois Car Crashes

Wearing a seatbelt every time you ride in a motor vehicle is the most effective measure you can take to protect yourself against the dangers inherent to riding in a car. Even if your vehicle has airbags, a seatbelt is the only mechanism available to you to prevent you from ejection or slamming into a hard and unforgiving object like the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. 

Wearing a seatbelt does not guarantee you will survive a car accident in Illinois unscathed. Auto manufacturers made them so they will lock your body into the seat. The forces driven into your body in a crash will throw your head, neck, arms, legs, and torso around violently. Therefore, you could sustain whiplash, a head injury such as a concussion, or broken bones, but you will remain in place.

Seatbelts can inflict injuries themselves. Illinois car accident victims can suffer broken ribs, broken or separated shoulder, broken collarbones, and a fractured sternum when the seatbelt refuses to relent to the destructive forces applied to your body in an accident. Older accident victims could suffer broken hips or the pelvis due to the tightening of the lap belt around the victim’s waist. 

Seatbelts can cause internal injuries as well as broken bones. The shoulder strap of a seatbelt can lacerate organs like the liver, pancreas, spleen, bladder, colon, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, and gallbladder, which will cause internal bleeding. Furthermore, the seatbelt can puncture or deflate a lung. 

One of the most insidious and confounding injuries a seatbelt can cause an accident victim is a laceration of the aorta or other heart vessels. The lightning-quick tightening of the should strap holding a person snugly to the seat car sheer or tear the aorta or different vascular structure of the heart. Such an injury could cause internal bleeding as well. Internal injuries are complicated to detect and diagnose, especially a vascular injury. The patient could be asymptomatic until he or she has lost so much blood he or she loses consciousness. At that point, the victim could succumb to that injury without the benefit of immediate life-saving measures.


Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at 312.422.0500.

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