Everything about a car accident can affect a victim – even the things that were meant to keep them safe. Seat belts save lives by restraining drivers so they are not bouncing around inside the vehicle or ejected. However, the seat belts themselves can create their own category of injuries after a crash. To find out more about seat belt injuries and how victims can be compensated, read on.
Common Seat Belt Injuries
Seat belts must be tough to keep you restrained, and they are meant to be worn snugly across the body. When the car crashes, your body is pushed against the restraints with force – enough force to cause injuries. Take a look at just a few common seat belt injuries after an accident:
The lap belt portion of the restraint can push against the abdomen with enough force to seriously damage your kidneys. They might be bruised or they might be permanently damaged. Damaged kidneys can lead to long-term issues sure to affect your qualify of life including infections, urinary control problems, high blood pressure, and more.
The chest strap of the seat belt can also bruise your heart and damage your lungs leading to breathing problems. Respiratory problems can domino into heart, kidney, and other problems.
The soft tissues in the breast can be bruised and painful but seat belt injuries can also cause fatty tumors to form.
Whiplash is the name for nerve damage to the neck and head areas. This type of injury causes pain, stiffness, tingling, numbness, and more.
How To Be Compensated
Many seat belt injuries don't go away with time. Long-term issues are possible and victims have a right to be paid for these types of injuries. In addition, seat belt injuries may not show up right away. To protect your rights to receive compensation due to a seat belt injury, take the below steps:
- Seek medical treatment right away, the sooner the better. Failure to seek help and to follow your doctor's recommendations could affect your compensation and the amount of a settlement or judgment.
- Even if you notice something a week or so after the accident, go to the doctor and document your treatment. Watch for pain in the chest, neck, or abdominal region. Bloody urine could mean kidney damage and should be treated as an emergency.
- If you have visible bruises, photograph them if you are able.
- Never discuss the accident or your injuries with the other driver's insurer.
If the accident was the fault of the other driver, they are responsible for paying your damages. However, having a personal injury lawyer represent you will ensure you are paid what you deserve, so speak with a lawyer today.