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New York City Seatbelt Malfunction Lawyers

Personal Injury Lawyers in New York Helping People Injured by Seatbelt Malfunctions

Seat belts save lives. The statistics are very clear on this. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 15,000 lives are saved each year because of seat belt use.

Unfortunately, some seat belts do not work as planned, and innocent passengers are injured when their seat belts malfunction. If you have been hurt by a defective seat belt, you should meet with a Brooklyn product liability attorney for more information.

How Seat belts are Supposed to Work

Put simply, a seat belt restrains a motorist during an accident. Without a seat belt, a high percentage of people will be thrown clear of the vehicle, which obviously increases the likelihood that they suffer a serious injury when they slam into the ground or another vehicle. By wearing the seat belt, they are kept inside the vehicle. Seat belts also keep passengers from knocking into each other.

Seat belts also should not lock up after an accident in case a person needs to get free and clear of a vehicle. For example, if the car is on fire, an accident victim doesn’t want to be trapped inside the car.

Most seatbelts work as expected. When they don’t, you should check whether you can bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car or the manufacturer of the failed seat belt.

Seat belt Defects

Some seat belts fail to work properly because of a defect in the design of the belt or in its manufacture.

  • Design defect. Something about how the belt is designed makes it unacceptably dangerous.
  • Manufacture defect. There might not be anything wrong with the design, but your individual seatbelt makes it malfunction because of an error in manufacture or assembly.

Over the years, there have been many reported defects, such as:

  • Buckle defect that causes the seatbelt to fail
  • Too much slack in the seat belt
  • Seat belt tears apart during an accident

When a seatbelt fails, the passenger can suffer serious injuries, including fractures, spinal cord injuries, and brain damage. Some passengers will also die.

Prominent Seat Belt Recalls

Manufacturers made aware of defects in their products should issue recalls to alert the public. There have been countless recalls of seat belts over the decades, including:

  • Ford issued a recall of 2 million trucks that had defective seat belt pretensioners that could cause a fire.
  • Ford issued another recall in 2019 out of concerns that seat belts would not hold in a crash.
  • Toyota recalled 90,000 Highlanders in 2019 because of a problem with the seat belts in the third-row seats which could fail to secure a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • In 2016, Toyota recalled nearly 3 million vehicles because seat belts could contact a metal part of the cushion frame and fail if cut.

Your seat belt can still be unreasonably dangerous even if not subject to a recall. The key will be to meet with an experienced attorney to review the details of your case.

Contact a Brooklyn Product Liability Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman is one of the leading personal injury law firms in our city. Our team has managed to secure millions of dollars for our clients in all types of car accidents, including those involving defects.

Get in touch with us to schedule your free consultation. You can call 917-268-2985 or fill out our contact form.


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