Are Injuries From Seat Belt Syndrome a Serious Threat?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on September 7, 2023

. Updated on May 2, 2024


person putting on seat belt

Seat belt syndrome is a bodily injury that some drivers have after a car accident. Some seat belt injuries are minor, while others may have a longer-lasting impact. Seat belts save over 15,000 lives every year, on average. That said, some people may sometimes sustain an injury known as seat belt syndrome. This injury is caused by the force of a seat belt during a crash.

Below, Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak discusses seat belt syndrome, including what the symptoms are and whether it can be a serious injury.

Need legal help after being injured in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence? Our experienced auto accident attorneys in South Bend are ready to help you seek the full and fair compensation you need for your medical costs and other losses.

Call (844)-678-1800 to discuss your legal situation today.

How To Identify Seat Belt Syndrome After a Car Crash?

The first visible sign of seat belt syndrome is bruising and abrasions. These marks on a person’s skin are typically located horizontally alongside the abdominal or waist area. After a car accident, drivers will notice apparent physical marks because their body jerked forward or was restricted by the seat belt. Usually, bruises and abrasions last for two weeks. However, if the injuries are more serious, marks can take several months to fade.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have a more severe injury known as seat belt syndrome:

  • Dizziness
  • Muscle strains
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness in the legs

After your car accident, you want to call 9-1-1 to ensure your safety. Then, you want to do a self-check to scan your body for injuries. Immediately after a crash, you will experience an adrenaline rush, which can prevent you from feeling pain even if you have a serious injury.

This is why we recommend seeking immediate medical attention to ensure you are examined and diagnosed for any injuries. Internal injuries, such as organ damage or traumatic brain injuries, can quickly become life-threatening without treatment.

Another reason for seeking medical care right away is to help link your car crash injuries to the incident that caused them.

Signs of Severe Seat Belt Syndrome

Some injuries are not noticeable and can take time to appear after your car accident. Most of the time, these injuries are internal. Therefore, the only way that these injuries can be diagnosed is by getting a medical examination and diagnostic testing, such as X-rays and MRIs.

Severe injuries from seat belt syndrome may include:

  • Tissue damages
  • Internal bleeding
  • Facture spine
  • Organ destruction
  • Bowel injuries

Even if you do not feel any pain after your car crash, visit a doctor to conduct examinations and diagnostic tests. When injuries are serious, time is of the essence. The sooner you get to the hospital, the better your chances are for an optimum recovery.

Additionally, trying to prove your injuries were caused by your car accident will be much harder if a substantial amount of time has passed. In other words, you will have a low chance of proving that the other party is liable for your medical expenses.

Can Seat Belts Save Lives in a Car Accident?

For several years, national legislatures have continued to make it a mission to encourage drivers to wear seat belts while driving. By implementing laws for children and adults, our government has assisted in decreasing the prevention of severe car accidents that lead to injuries or death. Seat belts help saves lives especially in high impact collisions that have the potential to cause serious injuries and in some cases death.

Parents or guardians must properly strap infants and children into a car seat or booster. According to the Indiana State Government, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 13.

Infants and small children need rear-facing car seats because their heads and spinal cords are not fully developed. During a car crash, the rear- facing car seat absorb a car crash impact. Therefore, a child’s neck, head, and spine are supported throughout the collision.

Seat belts have been instrumental in preventing head injuries and body ejection from vehicles. The three-point seat belt is the standard in most modern cars today. During a car crash, it helps keep your shoulder, chest, and abdomen secure.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that three-point seat belts have reduced front-seat deaths by 45 percent. Front-seat passengers can experience the most injuries during head-on and T-bone collisions, depending on the severity of the car crash.

Why You Should Wear Your Seat Belt Properly

Drivers who do not wear their seat belts or wear them incorrectly put themselves at risk for life-threatening injuries during a car crash.

Take the following steps to ensure your safety before you drive:

  • Do not put the seat belt behind your back or arm.
  • Place seat belts in front of your chest and pelvis.
  • Adjust your seat belt for comfort.
  • Ensure that your seat belt is not twisted in any area.

What Type of Claims Can You File for Seat Belt Syndrome?

If you have been in a car accident and suffer seat belt syndrome, you could be eligible to compensation covering your doctor visits, medical tests, copays, lost wages and more. Some seat belt syndrome symptoms can make it difficult for you to work and may lower your daily quality of life. Recovering can take time, but with an experienced attorney, you may be able to get the compensation you need to make it less stressful to move forward with your life.

Catastrophic injuries can alter the course of your life and your family’s life, resulting in a more significant amount of compensation. Other serious injuries that require months of physical therapy can potentially result in higher compensation as well. Once you and your attorney establish that the other party was at fault, you may be eligible to collect for all related medical costs, lost wages and more.

Call Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak To Further Discuss Your Auto Accident Case

We strongly recommend contacting a knowledgeable attorney for legal help if you have been in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence.

At Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak, we have the staff and resources to help you proceed with your case. Our firm takes car crash claims on contingency. We do not charge you any upfront costs. Our attorneys only get paid after we have recovered compensation for you.

Call (574) 444-0741 to discuss more details about your case.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases