Dallas, Texas Automotive Products Liability Attorneys: Seat Belt Failure Claims
Once the seat belt became mandatory in the 1960s, the number of accident-related fatalities decreased dramatically across the United States. In 2016 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that seat belts saved nearly 15,000 lives.
However, sometimes seat belts malfunction and fail. At Brooker Law, PLLC, our attorneys hold companies responsible when their products fail and cause injuries.
How Do Seat Belts Fail?
When seat belts work properly, they save lives. When they fail, drivers and passengers may be seriously injured or killed. Frighteningly, there are many ways that seat belts may fail during a crash.
Rips and Tears
A seat belt should be able to withstand an incredible amount of force from a traffic accident. However, sometimes weak seat belts rip or become unraveled due to defects in the material.
Once a seat belt is locked into place, it should not become unlocked until the driver or passenger unbuckles it. In some instances, however, due to the sheer force of impact during a motor vehicle accident, the seat belt becomes unlatched.
Upon the impact of a crash, the purpose of the seat belt retractor is to lock the seat belt into place and secure the occupant. If the retractor fails, the seat belt may become too loose during a crash, which may result in serious injuries.
In some cases, drivers or passengers thought that their seat belts were latched, but in reality, they were not. These individuals suffered serious injuries during accidents when their seat belts were not securely fastened, unbeknownst to them.
Weak Mounting Systems
Seat belts should be securely mounted to the seat. Improper mounting or design flaws in the vehicle may lead to deadly consequences after a crash.
Who May Be Liable for Seat Belt Failure?
There are many companies and individuals involved in the manufacture of a vehicle. How do you pinpoint which entity is responsible for a seat belt failure claim? Experienced automotive products liability attorneys carefully examine the evidence associated with an accident and consult with experts to determine liability.
The Automobile Manufacturer
An automobile begins with a design. If those in charge of designing the automobile have done so in such a way that may lead to seat belt failure, the manufacturer may be liable for passenger injuries.
In addition, those who assemble the automobile and install seats and seat belts may also extend liability to the automobile manufacturer if they do so incorrectly.
The Seat Belt Manufacturer
There are many outside companies that manufacture the parts that go into a vehicle. If these companies sell motor vehicle manufacturers defective parts, and those defective parts cause injuries, they may be liable.
Once a car leaves the manufacturer, it is usually shipped off to a dealership. The car is available for purchase, and, once it has a new owner, that owner may bring the vehicle back to the dealership for maintenance and repairs. If the dealership employees damage the seat belt mechanism, causing it to fail, the dealership may be responsible in a legal claim for any injuries that occur.
Other individuals and entities may also face liability for a seat belt failure claim, depending on the circumstances of the case.
The Attorneys at Brooker Law, PLLC Are Experienced in Automotive Products Liability Claims
If you believe that your seat belt failed during a crash, you should consult with an experienced Texas automotive products liability attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.
At Brooker Law, PLLC, our Dallas legal team holds car manufacturers and other companies accountable when their products fail and cause injuries. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, please contact or call (214) 217-0277 today.