Seatbelts save lives. There is no doubt about the fact. Restraint systems in vehicles are often the only components that stop occupants from being thrown from the vehicle during rollovers and severe impacts. While lifesaving, seatbelts can be the source of back injuries caused by the jarring effects of stopping the body during an accident.
During a vehicle accident, it is typical for a vehicle to come to a quick stop when it collides with another vehicle or object. Even though the vehicle stops, the people inside are still in motion. Seatbelts can keep drivers and passengers in their seats, but not without any impact. Their bodies fly forward and are stopped by the restraint system and possibly air bags. While there is usually much less damage than if they had been ejected from the vehicle, the body can be injured, especially the back, neck and musculoskeletal system.
Types of Back Injuries Caused by Seatbelts
The sudden stop of a body in motion by a seatbelt can cause serious damage to the spine and soft tissues in the back. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents due to the head and neck flying forward and jerking backward as the seatbelt does its job of keeping the body in its seat. The network of vertebrae, muscles and nerves that are in the back are also susceptible to this jarring motion. Seatbelts can cause many types of back injuries, including:
- Spinal fractures
- Herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
Back injuries caused from seatbelts in vehicle accidents are common. While some are minor and can heal quickly after the accident, others can be life-altering. Seatbelts are a valuable safety feature to prevent more serious injuries and even death, but the resulting back injuries can require extensive medical treatment. Those suffering from serious back injuries from a car crash may have medical bills, lost income and other expenses they need covered.
If seatbelts caused serious back injuries to you or a loved one during an auto accident, you may be facing extensive recovery time and expenses. When a negligent driver caused the vehicle accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Contact our team at Maison Law in Visalia for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.