“Seat belts save lives” is a motto the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plasters all over its website. According to the NHTSA, as many as 15,000 people’s lives were saved in motor vehicle accidents in a recent year simply because vehicle occupants wore seat belts.
Despite this motto, people can still sometimes be injured by seat belts or trapped in a precarious position. Furthermore, seat belts can fail to protect the very occupants they were designed to protect when they are defective.
If you suffered seat belt injuries in a car accident in Jacksonville, FL, Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Our Jacksonville seat belt injury lawyers are here to help you with every phase of your case. Contact us today at (904) 396-1100 for a free case review.
How Can a Jacksonville Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Pursue Compensation for Seat Belt Injuries?
With seven decades of combined legal experience, Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help with the most complex car accident cases. Seat belt injury crashes may involve car accident and product liability principles, so it takes a dedicated lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience to capably tackle such cases.
When you hire our Jacksonville car accident attorneys, you can expect us to:
- Thoroughly investigate the crash and the reason for your injuries
- Identify all potentially at-fault parties
- Obtain medical records and information from your medical providers to document how your injuries have affected you
- Gather and preserve important evidence
- Handle communications with insurance companies on your behalf
- Monitor case deadlines to ensure you meet them
- Work with experts if a defective product is suspected of having played a part in your injuries
- Negotiate for fair compensation on your behalf or take your case to trial if the other side is unreasonable
If you would like to work with a team that is dedicated to helping you obtain fair compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered, contact us today for a free case review. Our car accident lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida are ready to assist.
An Overview of Florida’s Seat Belt Laws
Florida’s seat belt laws are different for adults and children, as follows:
Florida’s safety belt law requires all adult drivers and front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt. Any adult who violates this law can be stopped and ticketed for a seat belt violation.
Any driver or front-seat passenger under the age of 18 must also be buckled up. Additionally, even backseat passengers under the age of 18 must be buckled up. Because airbags can be dangerous to children, children should be in rear seats until they are at least 12 years old.
Children under the age of six must also be buckled up in a proper child restraint as follows:
- 0-3 years – Children three and under must be buckled up in a child restraint device in a separate carrier or an integrated child seat from the vehicle’s manufacturer.
- 4-5 years – Children aged four to five must be in a separate carrier, integrated child seat, or booster seat.
- 5 years and under – Children aged five and under must be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.
How Can Seat Belts Cause Injuries?
Drivers may try to avoid a crash by slamming on their brakes. However, this may cause the seat belt to tighten up and hold the person in place with significant force. This tension is what protects the person’s life since it prevents them from being ejected from the vehicle if there is a crash. However, this tension can also cause injuries to vehicle occupants.
Seat belt injuries can also happen when the occupant’s belt is not properly positioned, or the seat belt fails during use.
What Are Common Seat Belt Injuries?
Due to the position and force of seat belts, some of the most common injuries car accident victims suffer from seat belts include:
- Heart and lung damage – Accident victims may suffer damage to the heart or lungs. Respiratory problems can also stem from these accidents. Internal organ damage can lead to life-threatening conditions.
- Fractured ribs – The force of an accident and the seat belt can apply significant pressure on the sternum and ribs, which may result in fractures or other damage to the ribs. It may be painful to breathe with these injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries – The force of the collision can apply pressure to the spinal column, which can lead to paralysis and other serious injuries like ruptured discs or fractured vertebrae.
- Neck and back injuries – Fractures or soft tissue injuries to the neck and back are also common injuries stemming from seat belts.
- Seat belt syndrome – Seat belt syndrome involves intestinal injuries caused by seat belts.
If you were recently involved in a motor vehicle crash, monitor for symptoms of injuries and seek prompt medical treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Seat Belt Injuries?
Seat belt injuries are not always obvious, so it’s essential to watch for potential symptoms of them, which may include:
- Difficulty moving your arms or shoulders
- Pain or discomfort to the chest or abdomen
- Difficulty when going to the bathroom
- Severe swelling or bruising in the chest or abdomen
- Difficulty breathing or experiencing pain while breathing
If you are experiencing symptoms of seat belt injuries, seek medical attention immediately.
Potential Compensation For Seat Belt Injuries in Jacksonville, FL
If you suffered seat belt injuries in a collision in Jacksonville, Florida, you may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and employment benefits
- Reduced earning potential
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our car accident lawyers in Jacksonville can review the circumstances of your case and explain the potential compensation you could recover.
Contact Our Jacksonville Seat Belt Injury Attorneys For a Free Consultation
If you suffered seat belt injuries, it is important that you file your claim within the statute of limitations. You do not have to go through this process alone. The Jacksonville seat belt injury lawyers at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help pursue the compensation you need from the negligent driver or seat belt manufacturer. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.