The invention of the seatbelt was a huge step forward in the protection of motorists. By preventing people from slamming into the steering wheel or dashboard, or even going as far as to fly through the windshield, the drivers and their passengers suddenly had a much higher chance of surviving motor vehicle collisions.
However, when there is an error in the production process, seatbelts can also be defective, which can lead to serious injuries should an accident occur. In cases like these, it is the manufacturer of the vehicle who could be held responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries which were sustained due the seatbelt’s shortcomings. It is important to call on Personal Injury Lawyer in Waterloo, if you were in a car accident and the seatbelt malfunctioned. You are entitled to receive compensation as per the laws and having a lawyer can help you
With product liability laws differing between provinces, and variations within the warranty provisions between motor vehicle manufacturer’s, it can be difficult to discern whether or not a manufacturer can be held liable for the increased amount of injuries the plaintiff has sustained. It should also be noted that a lack of warnings or instructions in regards to seatbelts may also lead to injuries, among motorists.
Examples of Recorded Seatbelt Defects:
• Lap only belts, which lack the shoulder strap and are often found in older car models, have been reported to inflict spine fractures, abdominal wounds and bruising, as well as face and head injuries during motor vehicle collisions.
• Systems which include tension relieving devices have been designed to allow slacking along the shoulder belt in order to give the occupant a certain freedom of movement. The problem herein lies when the belt fails to retract and thus leaves the belt slacking. Should a collision occur, this defect can lead to abdominal injuries, spine fractures, and injuries inflicted upon the head and face.
• Severe injuries can also stem from defective buckles which fail to lock properly and thus leave the occupant without restraint during the collusion. As a result, severe injuries along every part of the body are an absolute possibility.
• Systems designed with an automatic shoulder restraint and manual lap belt can be dangerous. This passive restraint system has oftentimes led occupants to forget the lap belt due to the automatic fastening of the shoulder belt, which can leave the occupant partially unprotected, as well as in additional danger from the sole pressure along their chest and neck. Possible injuries stemming from this start with liver lacerations and paraplegia, and go as far as strangulation and actual decapitation.