Defective Seatbelts in Philadelphia

Out of all of the safety mechanisms in our vehicles, seat belts are probably the most effective at preventing serious injuries from happening in a car accident. By restraining the driver and any passengers in the vehicle, seat belts prevent them from being jostled around, hitting the hard interior of the car and getting hurt. They also prevent people from being ejected from the vehicle in rollover and other serious crashes, saving them from potentially fatal circumstances.

However, just like with other car parts, seatbelts can be made or designed defectively. When they are, they will not provide the level of protection you are counting on them to provide. Unfortunately, it is not always evidence when a seatbelt is defective, leaving you unaware of the problem until you get into a car accident and rely on the seatbelt to keep you safe. By then, though, it is too late.

Seatbelt defects can lead to significant injuries that you would not have suffered, had the seatbelt been working. Having an attorney at your side, like those at the Philadelphia office of Gilman & Bedigian, can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your loss, your pain, and your suffering.

Seatbelt Mechanisms

Unbeknownst to many people, seatbelts are not simple devices that extend out from the interior of your car and around you to fit securely into the seatbelt buckle. Instead, seatbelts include collision sensors that detect how fast the car is going and what direction it is going in. Sudden changes in direction or speed, things that often happen right before a car accident, trigger the sensors and cause the seatbelt to retract or lock. This prevents the seatbelt from extending any further, keeping the driver or passenger restrained against the back of the seat where they will be safer in an accident.

Seatbelt Laws

Seatbelt laws have been around since 1968 when the Federal government passed a law that required all passenger vehicles to have seatbelts. Since then, however, it has been left mainly up to the states. Pennsylvania's seatbelt law requires anyone who is driving or sitting in the front seat to be buckled up, or face a fine.

Seatbelts Keep People Safe

When seatbelts work properly, they can save lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), using a seatbelt is the most effective way to survive a serious car accident and minimize your injuries. In fact, even though a significant majority of drivers buckle up when they get behind the wheel, more than half of the drivers under the age of 44 who died in crashes in 2014 were not using their seatbelt.

Defective Seatbelts

Even though seatbelts are crucial to the safety and survival of anyone in the car during a crash, car manufacturers have nevertheless shown a tendency to make mistakes. These defective seatbelts are costly to drivers who rely on them to stay safe in a crash and often have no way of knowing that their seatbelts are defective until it is too late.

In early 2016, Toyota issued one of the largest recalls due to seatbelt defects. In a serious crash, the seatbelts for the backseats in many RAV4 sport utility vehicles would get cut by a metal piece in the seat. The severed seatbelt would then be powerless to keep a passenger safe. The seatbelt defect impacted nearly 3 million vehicles that had been made between 2005 and 2014.

General Motors also issued a huge recall of nearly a million pickup trucks for similar issues. Seatbelts in these trucks connected to the interior of the vehicle with a steel cable. However, time and daily wear would bend the cable, causing it to separate from the inside of the vehicle, rendering it useless in a crash.

Philadelphia Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian Handle Defective Seatbelts

Seatbelts were designed to prevent serious or fatal injuries in a car accident. We rely on these devices to keep us safe whenever we get behind the wheel of a car or into the passenger's seat of someone else's vehicle. However, when they are poorly or defectively made, this reliance can end up hurting.

This is why the Philadelphia attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian represent people who have been in a car accident and been hurt because of a seatbelt defect. Whenever you get hurt through no fault of your own, you deserve to be compensated. Our attorneys will fight for you, both in and out of court, to make sure this happens. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162.

Let Us Help

If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.

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