Seat Belt Saved You, But Now You’re Hurt? Understanding Seat Belt Syndrome Caused by Accidents in New Jersey and Your Rights.

Seat Belt Syndrome NJ: Injuries, Compensation & How a Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Since seatbelts were invented, countless lives have been saved. Even though the value of seatbelts cannot be disputed, they still come with a price. Seatbelts are usually the only thing in a car during a collision that remains unmoved. The force exerted on your body by an unmoving seat belt is known as the restraining force, and this force has to the potential to cause significant harm to someone in a collision. In some accident cases, a condition known as Seat Belt Syndrome compounds the injuries and complexities of the claim for damages. Here, we discuss the specifics of seat belt syndrome and the implications that come along with it for drivers and passengers who find themselves involved in accidents in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, Burlington County, and throughout New Jersey. Contact our Hamilton office to discuss your potential lawsuit for seat belt syndrome-related accident injuries at (609) 528-2596.

Seat Belt Syndrome Explained

In New Jersey, there are a range of injuries that are caused by wearing seat belts during car accidents. These are often referred to as “Seat Belt Syndrome.” The severity of injury is directly related to the significance of the impact and how much restraining force is exerted in these situations.  

How Does the Force of Impact in a Collision Effect the Severity of the Seat Belt Injury?

The force of impact of a collision is directly linked to the amount of restraining force exerted on the body by the seat belt. The more significant the force is in a car collision, the more significant the injury can be from wearing a seat belt in that collision. High speed collisions cause a substantial amount of stress and trauma on the body, which leads to higher levels of trauma, specifically internal damage to organs, bone fractures, and/or soft tissue damage. On the other hand, a low impact collision can result in very minor bruising or a little discomfort.

Who is Most at Risk for Seat Belt Syndrome?

There are certain populations of people that are more susceptible to Seat Belt Syndrome. Children and senior citizens are at an elevated risk of injury due to wearing a seat belt in a car collision than any other demographic in this country.

Young children, being small in nature and still developing their skeletal structure, can sustain extremely significant injuries from the restraint force of a seat belt in a car collision. Just as sensitive is the elderly population. The elderly, due to decreased bone density and frailty, are extremely susceptible to the same injuries. These injuries include bone fractures, internal organ damage such as bruising or ruptures, and other traumatic injuries due to factors unique to these populations.

Most Frequent Injuries Sustained by Wearing a Seatbelt in an Accident

Among the most common injuries associated with wearing a seat belt in a collision are broken bones, shoulder injuries, abdominal injuries, vascular injuries, spinal injuries, and internal organ damage. When a collision occurs, the seat belt is the only part of the vehicle that remains in place. As a result, you may suffer fractures to the ribs, sternum, limbs, or dislocations and sprains of the shoulders. Besides bruising, lacerations or hemorrhages to abdominals, blood vessels, and major organs, a person can suffer a herniated disc, compression fracture of the spine, as well as severe spinal cord trauma.

Seat Belt Injuries: Long-Term Effects You Need to Know About

New Jersey Seat Belt Injuries: Long-Term Effects You Need to Know About

Considering the nature of an impact and the amount of restraining force associated with a collision, it is highly probable that someone could sustain long term impairment as a result of wearing a seat belt. For example, there have been cases of severe spinal cord trauma associated with seat belt syndrome. Someone can even become paralyzed solely as a result of the restraining force of a seat belt. Spinal cord trauma often means disc movement which may result in chronic and recurring pain.  

Furthermore, with any internal organ damage, there can be a necessity for ongoing treatment and surgery. A person can suffer lifelong health complications , as well as permanent injury, which results in constant rehabilitation, therapy, surgery, and/or medical attention.

Recovering Seat Belt Injury Compensation in New Jersey

A person suffering injury associated with Seat Belt Syndrome can recover compensation for any emotional, physical, and financial loss incurred. For example, any medical expenses, such as hospital bills, diagnostic testing, surgeries, surgical procedures, rehabilitation and/or ongoing medical treatment, can be compensated for.

A person can also recover any loss wages and compensation for property damage, such as vehicle repairs and replacements. Any pain and suffering can be compensated for as well. This includes emotional distress, mental anguish, physical pain, and a decrease in the quality of life caused by the associated injury.

How to Mitigate Seat Belt Syndrome but Still Be Protected in Car Accidents

It is extremely important to make sure that the seat belt is appropriately across the shoulder and lap in order to evenly distribute the force of restraint in case of a car collision. It is also important to make sure that you are using age-appropriate restraints in vehicles such as proper child seats and car seats. Also, practicing defensive driving and proper driving is important to mitigate all injury in addition to maintaining your vehicle’s air bags and functionality of your seat belts.

Mercer County Seat Belt Injury? Call The Law Office of Cohen & Riechelson for a Free Consultation

Having an attorney who knows the procedure and who has a successful track record can make all the difference when you are considering filing an accident claim for seat belt-induced injuries. At Cohen & Riechelson, we are prepared to assist with litigating or negotiating your claim to secure the top available compensation. If you have been forced to cope with seal belt syndrome injuries caused by an accident involving another’s negligence in Trenton, Monroe, Titusville, Lawrence, Ewing, Hopewell, and towns in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County, Camden County or elsewhere in New Jersey, call (609) 528-2596 or contact us online to get a skilled lawyer’s advice on your potential next steps.