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Lawyers for Seatbelt Injuries Auto Accident Claims: Chicago, Illinois

Injuries from seatbelts in carsThe CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) discovered that over fifty-one percent of car crash victims avoided death because they were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

While seat belts might prevent deaths, the serious injuries resulting from seat belts' restraint have only recently been studied.

Illinois law affords any individual injured by a seatbelt to recover compensation for their injuries from the party who caused the collision.

Hiring a Vehicle Accident Seatbelt Injury Attorney can Help

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC frequently assists people with seatbelt injuries in Chicago auto accidents obtain the compensation they are entitled to receive. Our Illinois auto accident lawyers can help you assert your legal rights if you have received a seat belt injury.

We are ready to guide you through the legal process and take the time to meet with you to discuss your legal options. Please feel free to fill out our online form or call us for more information to receive a free case review.

A Victim's Legal Rights

Individuals injured by seat belts have legal rights. Just because a seat belt might have saved an individual's life does not mean that person is prevented from recovery for injuries resulting from that seat belt during the crash.

The seatbelt and the victim's car might have a manufacturing or design defect. All companies involved in the manufacturing and distribution chain might be liable for the damages suffered by drivers and passengers.

Vehicle Accident Seatbelt Injury FAQs

What Injuries can Seat Belts Cause?

Accident victims can suffer severe injuries from the vehicle's seatbelt during a minor to a horrific crash. Some of these injuries might include broken bones, internal organ damage, joint dislocations, fractures, intestinal injuries, spinal column damage, and internal bleeding.

How do Seat Belt Reduce Injury in a Crash?

Seatbelts are designed to secure the victim in place inside the vehicle during a car accident. The belt is a preventative measure that protects the driver and front-seat passenger from colliding with the steering wheel and dashboard.

The seatbelt disperses the impact force on the victim's body during the car crash. The belt spreads the force across the shoulder, torso, and pelvis upon impact.

What Happens to a Seatbelt After an Accident?

During an accident, the seatbelt components communicate with the vehicle's airbag system that might be deployed if the front bumper sensors were impacted.

Technicians must replace seatbelt parts, including the retractors, the airbag's inflator, ignitor, and sensors during the post-collision car repair.

Can a car Accident Cause Stomach Problems?

You might be suffering from internal bleeding or injury if you are involved in a car accident and suddenly began experiencing abdominal pain and discomfort. Your stomach pain might be caused by damage to the soft tissue under the abdominal wall that can last hours, days, or weeks after the crash.

Doctors recommend seeking medical attention at a local emergency room or urgent care center immediately after a crash to ensure your safety. Only a qualified diagnostician can accurately identify severe injuries that might require life-threatening treatment.

What is Seat Belt Syndrome?

Seatbelts were initially designed and installed in vehicles to ensure rider safety and minimize an injury's severity after a crash. Accident victims wearing their seatbelt tend to have a shortened hospital stay and require few operations to repair internal injuries compared to unbelted drivers and passengers.

Lumbar fractures, bowel perforations, and internal organ damage are all Seat Belt Syndrome injuries that typically develop after a motor vehicle accident.

Should Seat Belts be Replaced After an Accident?

Seatbelts are designed and manufactured with a webbed fabric that stretches in an accident to absorb energy caused by an impact force during a crash. Failing to replace the seatbelt after a minor or severe crash could create a dangerous occupant scenario if the second accident occurs.

Car manufacturers recommend changing the seat belt after every traffic accident.

Can a car Accident Cause Bowel Problems?

During a vehicle crash, the blunt force impact could place significant trauma against the victim's abdominal region, especially at the lap belt restraint. Many crash victims suffer severe injuries where the seatbelt contacts the torso and lap.

Common symptoms associated with seat belt injuries include abdominal swelling, chest injuries, lacerations, lower back pain, intense pain, vomiting, constipation, and dehydration.

Basic Illinois Seat Belt Laws

All drivers and front-seat passengers must wear a seat belt while a vehicle is in motion in Illinois. Also, passengers under nineteen must wear a safety belt if a driver is under eighteen years old.

All children under eight years of age, regardless of their location in a vehicle, must be secured in an approved child safety restraint system to minimize the severity of car accident injuries.

Seat Belt Injury Facts and Statistics

In serious car accidents, seat belts might restrain individuals if they reach speeds over 100 m.p.h. The results of a crash at excessive speeds could leave individuals with whiplash, severed limbs, and other serious injuries.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a report finding that thousands of individuals suffered from lap and shoulder injuries when they used their seatbelt.

The NHTSA released the following seat belt injury statistics in a study entitled, "Seatbelt Injuries in Medical and Statistical Perspectives:"

  • Over 4600 individuals suffered from lap injuries after using a seat belt. That accounts for an injury rate of 24.2 percent
  • More than 81,000 individuals suffered from lap/shoulder injuries after using a seat belt. That accounts for an injury rate of 25.2 percent
  • Approximately 129,000 individuals suffered injuries because of using no seat belt, at an injury rate of 54.6 percent

Research Studies on Internal Organ Damage Resulting from Seat Belt Use

Numerous other published research studies have tracked the injuries individuals suffer from auto accidents after using their seat belts. A study published in the Southern Medical Journal by Dr. Greingor and Dr. Lazarus discovered that patients with seat belt injuries frequently suffered from sternal fractures and abdominal injuries.

The study is entitled, "Chest and Abdominal Injuries Caused by Seat Belt Wearing," revealed findings of passengers involved in auto accidents who:

  • Suffered from an increase in abdominal tenderness and muscle fiber damage
  • Suffered from bowel injuries
  • Suffered from an increase in higher mortality and morbidity rates involving a delayed diagnosis of bowel injuries

Types of Seat Belt Injuries

A vehicle's sudden stop could cause significant pain with a shoulder strap crosses the upper torso. Many accident victims require physical therapy and chiropractic care.

The common injuries that victims could suffer from the use of seat belts as restraining devices:

Sample Settlements & Verdicts Related to Seatbelt Injuries Related to Illinois Auto Accidents

$212,000 Settlement; Rockford, Illinois; 2016

A mother and her daughter were driving in downtown Rockford when a large truck turned left and crashed into their passenger car.  The mother broke some bones and needed a hip replaced due the incident to the tune of almost $90,000 in medical expenses.  The daughter suffered neck, chest, and back injuries because of the seatbelt she was wearing.  Later, these harms caused facial drooping and paralysis.  The daughter spent more than $30,000 in medical bills fixing these problems.  They both sued the truck driver.  Despite the large truck driver’s protestations that the pair’s problems predate the car accident, he finally did cooperate and the parties settled.  The mother received $150,000 of financial compensation and the daughter received $62,500 for her damages.

$1,300,000 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois; 2015

This personal injury lawsuit started on a more positive note-a trip to Chicago for work.  A woman in her early sixties was travelling to Illinois in order to attend a conference.  Unfortunately, the van she travelled in did not properly install the seatbelts.  Therefore, when the van stopped abruptly, she was sent flying to the floor and she hurt her knee.  To make matters worse, upon exiting the vehicle, she tumbled down and broke her femur.  She sued the truck driver and large truck company for damages.  She claimed they were both negligent and responsible for her injuries, costs (including almost $300,000 in medical expenses), and pain and disability from her subsequent knee replacement surgery following the events.  The company they denied they were at fault.  The company claimed the woman was exaggerating her injuries.  Yet, the company also agreed to settle.  At the end of the process, the woman received a $1.3 million settlement package.

$690,000 Settlement; Lake County, Illinois; 2012

This controversy occurred in Gurnee, Illinois.  A forty-year-old woman was waiting for a red light to change to green when she was rear-ended by the defendant’s motor vehicle.  The car was travelling at nearly fifty miles per hour when he slammed into her passenger car.  The car flipped over and left her hanging from the vehicle upside.  As she hung in midair, the seatbelt cut into her organs and broke a few of her bones.  The trips to the hospital, doctors, and rehab cost her almost $200,000.  She also had to miss work for three months and that cost her approximately $8,000.  She presented this evidence when bringing a claim against the driver in Illinois court as well as the resulting loss and harm.  The two sides settled before it could reach a jury.  The man’s insurance company gave her $690,000.

$2,500,000 Settlement; Cook County, Illinois; 2007

A young family was riding in their motor vehicle in Schaumburg when another vehicle chased through a yellow light and turned left into them.  The crash was catastrophic.  The family’s little six-year-old girl was killed when the seatbelt crushed her spine.  Not long after the tragic events, the family brought a suit against the driver.  The case was for personal injury and wrongful death.  Yet, it did not go to a complete jury trial, the matter settled before that could happen.  The defendant’s insurance company gave the family $2.5 million.

Contact Experienced Illinois Auto Accident Lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC Today

If you received a seatbelt injury during a car accident, please speak with one of our attorneys for help today. We understand how overwhelming it can be to consider filing a lawsuit for a seat belt injury.

Ask your questions or discuss your concerns with our Illinois auto accident lawyers at any time. Contact our auto accident injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Our personal injury law firm follows social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).


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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa