Automobiles are a staple of American society. All across the country, people rely on their cars to keep their lives moving and handle their respective responsibilities. To promote auto safety, drivers and passengers depend on seat belts to protect them in the event of an accident. When these vital safety devices malfunction, death and injuries (like brain damage) can result. The victims of these occurrences deserve reimbursement for the pain and suffering that the product failure causes. Though automobile companies often try to mitigate the problem with massive recalls, legal actions are sometimes necessary to secure adequate compensation.
Recent Safety Belt Recalls
According to a recent report by MSN News, General Motors (GM) recently recalled more than 40,000 vehicles due to defective safety belts. This latest recall adds to the more than sixty recalls from GM in the last few years. The report explains that there is inadequate tension in the front seat belts, creating extra slack in the event of an accident. The belts were designed to tighten during a crash, in order to hold the driver and passengers firmly in place. Without proper tension, the belts are not as useful during an automobile accident. The company reportedly claims that the defect was discovered during crash testing.
One seatbelt lawsuit against GM was filed on behalf of an 8-year-old girl. She was severely injured in a car crash, causing her to live her life as a quadriplegic. According to reports, her father blames GM for an allegedly faulty safety belt within a sport utility vehicle.
GM is not the only car manufacturer with seat belt issues. Mercedes Benz recently recalled one of its S-Class vehicles due to the tendency of the safety belt anchor to come loose, which can leave the driver vulnerable to accident related injuries.
In 2011, Mazda was at the center of a safety belt lawsuit, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor. The litigation was based on the company’s decision to only install lap belts in the backseats of minivans instead of lap-and-shoulder belts. The case was started by a Utah family whose mother reportedly died during an accident, while wearing a lap belt. The lack of shoulder restraint reportedly caused her body to violently “jackknife” fatally injuring her.
Defective Seat Belt Injuries
Safety belt failures can result in numerous injuries:
***Head and neck injuries
***Broken and fractured bones
***Extensive bodily burns
These problems can cause years of physical and mental pain, along with a substantial monetary burden for the injured party and the family. Through out the years, civil attorneys have worked to secure compensation for victims. A product liability lawsuit may assert that the seatbelt design was defective, as in the Mazda case. An experiences attorney may also argue faulty manufacturing, which is applicable in the GM case, where the safety belts do not work properly.
If you or a family member has suffered from the effects of a faulty safety belt, contact the experienced injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today.
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