Fort Worth Seat Belt Injury Lawyer

While seat belts are designed to help prevent life-threatening harm during a crash, the safety belt can cause damage in situations such as high-impact collisions. You could have a potential lawsuit if the accident was caused by negligence or if the injuries were due to a seat belt malfunction.

A Fort Worth seat belt injury lawyer could help you recover compensation if you were injured in a collision. Learn about your rights during a consultation with a seasoned car accident attorney.

Common Seat Belt Injuries

Although seat belts help lower the chances of a passenger being ejected from the vehicle during a car accident, they can also cause injuries due to the force generated by a collision and the belt’s positioning.

Common seat belt injuries include contusions, bruises, or abrasions to the skin surrounding the area covered by the belt, also known as seat belt sign or seat belt syndrome.

Seat belts can also lead to torso injuries, such as:

  • Fractured ribs
  • Collapsed lungs
  • Damage to other internal organs
  • Spinal cord or vertebrae injuries

Medical bills and missed time from work can become costly when recovering from these types of seat belt injuries. A Fort Worth attorney experienced in seat belt injury law could assess a person’s injuries and help them recover damages for these costs.

Negligence Lawsuits for Seat Belt Injuries

When the accident causing the seat belt injury is due to negligence, a Fort Worth lawyer could help their client file a personal injury lawsuit.

To bring a successful negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must first show that the driver violated a duty of care. Establishing a duty of care is difficult in some cases, but legal counsel could help identify laws an at-fault party violated leading up to the accident. For example, a defendant who was driving while intoxicated is more likely to have violated their duty of care.

Further, the accident must have directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries and the victim must have suffered damages. The plaintiff can pursue economic and non-economic damages under state law.

If the plaintiff plans to file a lawsuit, they generally must bring the action within two years from the date of the injury under the state’s statute of limitations, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 16.003. The statute provides some exceptions, such as allowing that the tolling period will not start for minors until they reach the age of 18.

In addition to injuries caused by a vehicle accident, manufacturer errors—such as a defective or faulty seat belt—can also lead to injuries. Finding the appropriate defendant in these cases can become complex, since liability could fall on the seat belt manufacturer, the car manufacturer, or another third-party involved in the device’s assembly or installation.

Depending on the facts of the case, the court could hold a seat belt manufacturer strictly liable for design flaws or production errors.

How a Victim’s Negligence Can Limit Recovery

A Fort Worth attorney could also advise a client if their potential recovery of damages is limited by their own negligence leading up to their safety belt injury.

The state follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.001, which bars a plaintiff from recovering damages when they are more than 50 percent responsible for the incident.

The plaintiff can still recover damages if they remain under the threshold, but the court will reduce the damages in conjunction with their percentage of fault under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.003.

Contact a Fort Worth Attorney Right Away About Seat Belt Injuries

You should not delay speaking with a Fort Worth seat belt injury lawyer if you were harmed in a vehicle accident. A dedicated legal team could help you obtain relevant evidence, such as pictures from the incident, police reports, or witness testimony.

Considering the state’s statute of limitations, promptly filing a claim is an important step on the road to recovering compensation. Contact us today to get started on your case.