Seat Belt Injuries From a Crash – What You Need to Know

young woman in driver's seat fastening seat beltSeat belts save 15,000 or more lives every year, but sometimes buckling up can leave crash victims with secondary injuries. Most of the time, these injuries include only minor bruises, scrapes and lacerations. However, some crash victims who buckle up may suffer severe seat belt injuries.

At Anderson & Cummings, we discuss seat belt injuries resulting from Fort Worth car crashes, including how they happen and the types of injuries they can cause. We also talk about the parties who may be liable for the resulting damages.

Injured in a Texas car crash? If so, our experienced car accident lawyers in Fort Worth are prepared to help you. We have been helping injured victims throughout the Lone Star State for decades, recovering over $100 million in compensation for our clients. If we represent you, we will work tirelessly to recover maximum compensation on your behalf, even if it means going to court.

Call our law offices to request a FREE case review. (817) 920-9000

Do Seat Belt Injuries From Crashes Often Happen?

Seat belt injuries can happen, but usually they are very minor. Some crash victims might have mild to severe bruising. Others may have scrapes or friction burns from the belt. Even when there are lacerations, they are usually mild. However, sometimes seat belt injuries may be more severe.

Even though severe seat belt injuries can happen, you are much more likely to suffer a severe or fatal injury in a car crash if you were not wearing your seat belt.

Who May Be Liable for Seat Belt Injuries From a Texas Crash?

If you suffered seat belt injuries from a Texas car crash, several parties may be fully or partially liable for any related damages, including:

The At-Fault Driver

If your injuries occur as the result of a crash caused by another driver’s negligent or reckless acts, you may be eligible to recover compensation through his or her liability insurance. Damages you may be able to seek compensation for include medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses.


If your seat belt injuries are the result of a seat belt defect or malfunction, you may be able to seek compensation against the vehicle manufacturer.

Maintenance or Service Repair

Third-party maintenance or repair shops, if they improperly serviced your seat belt, may be held at least partially liable for your damages if their negligence contributed to your injuries.

Impact of Texas Comparative Negligence Law on Your Claim

It is important to note that crash victims could be partially liable for not properly wearing their seat belts. For instance, drivers who put the shoulder harness behind their back. Even if you do share some liability for your injuries, you may still be eligible to recover compensation. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence law, which means you can seek compensation for your damages as long as you are not more than 50 percent responsible for the crash and your damages.

What Types of Severe Seat Belt Injuries Could Occur?

The extent and severity of a seat belt injury largely depends on several contributing factors, such as the speed of the crash at impact and how the seat belt was fastened at the time of the crash. Defective or malfunctioning seat belts could also cause severe fractures and other internal injuries, such as:

  • Bruising across the chest or shoulder area
  • One or more fractured ribs
  • Neck injuries due to poor seat belt placement
  • Minor to severe sternum and chest injuries
  • Intra-abdominal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Severe visible or internal lacerations

After being involved in a crash, you should immediately get examined at a nearby emergency room. Hospital ERs are always open, and they have the staff, specialist doctors and equipment to quickly diagnose any possible life-threatening internal injuries.

What Is Seat Belt Syndrome?

Seat belt syndrome is a medical term assigned to a set of injury profiles that have been associated with seat belt usage. These injuries range from mild bruises, scrapes and lacerations to severe internal injuries and fractures that could occur.

How Can I Help Prevent Seat Belt Injuries?

There are some steps you can take to help prevent a seat belt injury if you are involved in a car crash. The most important steps include following these recommendations for properly positioning of your seat belt:

  • Make sure that your lap belt is firmly positioned across your hips, but below your stomach.
  • Do not put the shoulder belt behind your head or neck. When properly placed, it should be in front of your chest and across your sternum (the center of your chest). Make sure the belt is not pressing against your neck. If it is, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for adjusting the height of the belt.
  • When fastened, the seat belt should fit snugly, but not uncomfortably tight.

Pregnant Woman and Seat Belts

It is a good idea to avoid traveling in a car as much as possible during the final months of your pregnancy. When you do have to ride in a car, be sure to take special care to properly fasten your seat belt:

  • Be sure to always wear both the lap and shoulder belts.
  • Make sure the lap belt is positioned under your belly but over your hip area. Do NOT place the seat belt across your belly.
  • Position the shoulder straps between your breasts and then alongside your belly. Do NOT move the seat belt under your armpit. It is not designed to be worn this way and can cause you serious harm.

Need Legal Help After a Car Crash? Call Anderson & Cummings

Seat belts are more likely to save your life than to cause you serious injuries. However, if you do suffer injuries from buckling up, we are prepared to help. Determining on how your seat belt injuries occurred, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical costs and other losses.

Call our law offices 24/7 to request a FREE case review. If you have a case and choose Anderson & Cummings to represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay. We accept car crash cases on continency which means you only pay if we win your case.

Anderson & Cummings. Millions Recovered. Proven Results  (817) 920-9000

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.


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