Outside of airbags and the car itself, seat belts are the last line of defense in protecting against serious injury in car accidents. They are an integral safety device that prevents ejection from the car and significantly decreases the chances of impact. Seat belts also slow down the speed at which a person hits the interior of a vehicle and distribute the force of impact throughout different parts of your body.
While seat belts protect accident victims, they can also leave bruises and sometimes cause serious injuries. If you’ve been in an auto accident and are suffering from seat belt-related injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. We can help you seek compensation for your damages.
How do Seat Belt Injuries and Bruising Happen?
Seat belts are designed to help prevent injuries during a collision by keeping you inside your vehicle. The three parts of the car that distribute the force of an impact over your body, called the primary restraints, are your lap belt or lap portion of the shoulder-lap belt combination (depending on the position of the buckle), your shoulder belt, and your airbag.
Seat belt injuries and bruising usually happen because the force of a car accident is severe, causing the seatbelt to put intense pressure on your body.
Bruising From a Seat Belt After a Car Accident
In a car accident, your body remains in one position during impact. This causes an injury called “seat belt syndrome,” which includes injuries to the victim’s neck, chest, and stomach.
Symptoms of seat belt syndrome injuries may include:
- Bruises around the seat belt openings on the skin
- A seat belt burn – a red, blistering, painful area where the seat belt touched your skin
- A burn can lead to infection and serious complications.
- Fractures of the ribs and sternum
- Seat belt marks on your belly
- A hematoma – a large, painful swelling caused by blood collecting under the skin.
A Seat Belt Bruise is Not Just a Bruise
Seat belt bruises are typically signs of internal bleeding. This type of internal bleeding may cause blood clots to form in your blood vessels, which can be fatal if they travel to your brain or heart.
Common Seat Belt Injuries
A seat belt injury happens when the force of a collision pushes your body forward, but the seatbelt restrains you from moving. This can cause compression of your stomach and chest. It also increases the pressure in your head and face, causing injuries to the mouth and eyes.
The most common seat belt injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries or “seat belt syndrome.”
- Fractures of the ribs, sternum, and bones in your face
- Abrasions to your head and face from hitting a side window
- Fractures of your clavicle – the bone at the top of your chest near your shoulder
- Soft-tissue damage to your neck and spine
Serious Injuries Caused by a Seat Belt
A serious seat belt injury occurs when a car accident is severe enough to cause internal injuries. These may include:
- Damage to an internal organ, such as your heart or spleen
- A lacerated liver
- A ruptured aorta
- Injury to blood vessels
Mild to moderate injuries can be treated with rest and pain medication, while more severe injuries will require surgery.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Seat Belt Injuries
You may be able to file a claim for a seat belt injury if the accident that caused your injury was someone else’s fault.
To determine whether you have a case, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who can review the facts of your situation and advise you on your best course of action. If you decide to file a lawsuit, your attorney will help you gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company for fair compensation.
What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You
The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a 100 years of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Collecting Compensation for Seat Belt Bruises
Many factors go into determining the value of your case. These include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys have experience evaluating cases just like yours to determine what they may be worth and will work hard to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
Here are a few of our case results:
- $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
- $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
- $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
- $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
- $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
- $1 million settlement on behalf of client suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
Contact an Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.