Phoenix Seat Belt Injury Attorney
It’s widely known that seat belts save lives daily. When someone gets in a car accident, wearing a seat belt can make the difference between life and death. Although seat belts are one of the most important safety features in a car, they can still cause significant injuries. Some victims deal with long-lasting harm for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one sustained a seat belt injury during a car accident, the Phoenix seat belt injury lawyers from Gallagher & Kennedy want to help you recover compensation. We can fight for the money you need to avoid financial ruin after a severe seat belt injury.
Why Choose Gallagher & Kennedy?
Gallagher & Kennedy is a premier personal injury law firm that serves the Phoenix area. We are compassionate, committed, and treat every case like it’s our own. Our attorneys handle some of the largest cases in the country with the goal of maximizing results for our clients. We work tirelessly to help all our clients get the compensation they need.
There are many benefits to choosing our firm after sustaining an injury from a seat belt. Our attorneys have successfully resolved hundreds of cases where someone sustained an injury in a car accident. This experience gives us the upper hand when negotiating with insurance companies. They know we have a reputation for not settling for less than our clients deserve.
The benefits of choosing Gallagher & Kennedy as your Phoenix seat belt injury lawyer include:
- Our main purpose is to help others. When you choose our team to help with your personal injury case, we offer the maximum amount of support for your injuries. Each member of our team dedicates the time and individual attention needed to reach positive results.
- We offer free consultations. If you suffered a seat belt injury and are unsure if you have a case, speak to a member of our team today. For no cost, you can learn about your legal options and get your questions answered. By the end of the consultation, you should have a better idea of what you can do moving forward.
- Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means you do not have to pay for our legal services unless we help you reach a successful outcome in your case. Because of this fee agreement, there’s no financial risk to working with our team.
On top of these benefits, our firm has the financial resources to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies or opposing attorneys. We can handle your case regardless of how big the opposing party is.
Do I Need an Attorney After Sustaining a Seat Belt Injury?
After your seat belt injury, you could be in pain, out of work, or experiencing a host of other problems. The last thing you probably want to do is deal with the insurance company or try to resolve any legal issues on your own. Our attorneys can handle all legal matters for you, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
When you work with Gallagher & Kennedy, you can expect us to:
- Speak to the insurance company, so you don’t have to. We can handle all communications on your behalf throughout the insurance claims process. We can also file the claim for you, ensuring that it’s accurate and includes all the necessary information.
- We can investigate the car accident. Our attorneys can collect evidence from the accident scene and also determine liability. If the seat belt caused your injury, the driver who caused the accident and the seat belt manufacturer could both be at fault. We’ll take a close look at the circumstances of the accident to determine liability.
- Negotiate for a fair settlement. If the insurance company refuses to provide a fair settlement agreement, we can negotiate with them. We’ve built a team of talented negotiators who don’t want to accept less than you deserve. Our attorneys can argue why you should recover the amount of compensation you seek.
- Represent you in front of a judge and jury. If the insurance company or opposing attorneys refuse to make a fair offer, we can represent you in court. We are fierce litigators who can provide solid evidence and a strong case strategy to prove how much compensation you need.
Types of Injuries That Seat Belts Can Cause
According to the National Safety Council, seat belts have saved nearly 375,000 lives over a 42-year span. However, while these safety devices have saved many lives and are well worth the risk of wearing them, they do have the potential to cause injuries.
Where a person places the seat belt on their body can significantly impact the type of injury they sustain.
Common types of seat belt injuries include:
- Bruised or fractured ribs: If the seat belt lays across the chest, the force of the impact could cause the seat belt to have enough power to fracture your ribs. Rib injuries can leave you in significant pain for several months.
- Sternum or chest injuries: The seat belt can directly impact your sternum and chest area, which can also impact the internal organs nearby (such as your heart or lungs).
- Seat belt syndrome: This injury occurs when the force of the accident causes the seat belt to compress your abdomen or chest. The pressure this puts on the body could damage your internal organs or spine.
- Lacerations: While newer seat belt designs lower the likelihood of lacerations, seat belts in older vehicle models could cause lacerations if they lock up during an accident. You should treat any lacerations immediately to avoid infection or further injury to the area.
If you suffered one of the above injuries because of a seat belt, or one not listed here, the Phoenix seat belt injury lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy are ready to help. We can determine liability and develop a solid case strategy to prove the cause of your injuries.
Other Factors Involved With Seat Belt Injuries
Again, in most car accidents, seat belts reduce your risk of injury significantly. However, there are several factors that could cause the seat belt itself to injure you. These factors may also indicate if the seat belt manufacturer or the other driver is liable for the accident.
Some of the factors include:
- The speed of both vehicles at the time of the accident
- If the seat belt malfunctioned during the accident
- Where the person wearing the seat belt placed it on their body (across their sternum, across their lap, etc.)
How to Wear a Seat Belt Properly to Avoid Injuries
Start by ensuring the shoulder belt and lap belt are secured across your rib cage and pelvis. Next, place the shoulder belt away from your neck and across the middle part of your chest. The lap belt should rest across your hips, not your stomach.
Are Seat Belt Injuries Common?
Unfortunately, seat belt injuries are common, with an estimated 3 million people injured by seat belts each year. But according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), their benefits far outweigh the possible risk of injury.
In one recent year, seat belts saved over 14,000 lives.
NHTSA also estimates that wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of:
- Front seat passenger car deaths by 45 percent
- Front seat passenger car injuries by 50 percent
- Front seat light truck occupant deaths by 60 percent
- Front seat light truck injuries by 65 percent
Our Attorneys Can Determine Liability for Your Injuries
Wondering who’s liable is a common concern after a seat belt injury.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, you could place liability on several people or entities, such as:
- The seat belt manufacturer
- The vehicle manufacturer
- The driver who caused the accident
Our team has handled many car accident cases involving seat belt injuries. During our investigation, we can collect evidence to help determine liability and identify which parties should compensate you.
The Seat Belt Manufacturer
Liability typically falls on the seat belt manufacturer when the seat belt malfunctions during a car accident. Perhaps the seat belt did not perform as anticipated due to a mistake in the manufacturing or design process.
Flaws that could occur in a defective seat belt include:
- A defective latch, which could cause the seat belt to detach if the impact occurs when the latch is at the wrong angle
- Defective tension detectors, which could cause the seat belt to remove slack
- When the seat belt tears because the manufacturer constructed it out of cheap or ineffective fabric
There are many ways to determine if the seat belt has a defect after an accident. For instance, if the seat belt tore or completely broke apart during the accident, that’s likely due to a defect. Other signs of a defect include multiple passengers in the car sustaining seat belt injuries and if the seat belt unlatches during the accident.
Defects can cause significant injuries, especially if the impact occurs at high speed. Our attorneys can advocate for you if you sustained injuries because of a seat belt defect and hold the manufacturer liable.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
In cases where liability falls on the vehicle manufacturer, there is typically an insufficient amount of seat belts in the car, or the vehicle manufacturer only installed a lap belt in certain car seats.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries to your internal organs or other body parts because of a seat belt, we can fight for you to hold the vehicle manufacturer accountable.
The Driver Who Caused the Accident
In some cases, a seat belt injures a driver or passenger simply because the accident occurred. If there was no defect and a sufficient amount of seat belts in the car, the liable party would be the person who caused the accident.
When the liable party is the at-fault driver, our attorneys can gather evidence that shows how the accident caused your seat belt injuries.
Contact a Seat Belt Injury Lawyer in Phoenix Today
If you or a loved one sustained an injury because of a seat belt, contact the personal injury attorneys at Gallagher & Kennedy today. We can start working on your case immediately, so you can get the money you need to pay for medical bills, cover missed paychecks, and more as soon as possible. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case to determine who is liable and who should pay for your injuries.
Contact us today at (602) 530-8400 for a free consultation, so a member of our team can hear your story and how your injuries have affected your life. We can also answer your questions and provide more information about how our attorneys can help. There’s no obligation to hire our firm when you have a consultation, but we hope you’ll agree that we’re the right firm to represent you in your injury claim or lawsuit.
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Galleger & Kennedy – Phoenix Office
2575 E Camelback Rd, Suite 810
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Tel: (602) 530-8400