According to the most recent studies, over 374,000 people have survived car crashes, thanks in part to the fact that they wore seat belts.
In both head-on or rear-end collisions, your seat belt can stop you from hitting your head against the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. It can even prevent you from hitting the ceiling of the vehicle and breaking your neck in the event of a rollover accident.
As such, it’s common knowledge to say that seat belts save lives, but it is important to understand the risk of injury they can raise while still saving your life. The force of the restraint can damage soft tissues or even break bones, but fortunately, the liability for these injuries falls on the at-fault driver.
After a car accident in the area, a Kansas City seat belt injury lawyer from Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help you pursue a claim for the losses you endured due to the harm you’ve sustained. Contact our Kansas City, MO law office today at (816) 408-3448 for a free case assessment to learn more.
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How Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With a Seat Belt Injury Claim in Kansas City, MO
Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers has been a pillar of the legal community in Kansas City, Missouri, since 2002. Our founding attorney has recovered over $70 million in compensation for accident victims like you.
After a collision, our Kansas City car accident lawyers will provide you with the following:
- Legal advice and counsel to guide you through the complicated personal injury claim process
- Decades of experience filing insurance claims and negotiating settlements
- The resources to take your case to trial if the insurer will not settle
A car accident can cause injuries that range from chest bruises to permanent brain damage. Contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your case and the compensation you may be able to seek under Missouri law.
How Many People Wear Seat Belts in Missouri?
Missouri has a fairly high seat belt use rate. This is likely a result of Missouri’s seat belt law that requires all front-seat occupants, regardless of age, and rear-seat occupants under 16 to wear seat belts.
According to the Missouri Traffic Safety Compendium, the following percentages of vehicle occupants were wearing their seat belts while involved in crashes in 2022:
- 97.2% of SUV occupants
- 96.9% of van occupants
- 96.4% of car occupants
- 93.7% of pickup truck occupants
In total, 160,511 vehicle occupants wore seat belts during traffic accidents in Missouri throughout 2022. Only 6,273 accident victims did not wear seat belts that year.
Seat Belt Injuries During Car Accidents
In a collision, your body naturally wants to keep moving at the same speed and direction as it was before the crash. A seat belt restrains your body to prevent its kinetic energy from flinging you around the passenger compartment and banging into the steering wheel, dashboard, seats, and other hard surfaces.
A locked seat belt stops your body’s motion by applying pressure to your chest and shoulders, but it can also injure you in a number of ways, such as:
The pressure of a seat belt against your chest can rupture the small blood vessels just under the skin. The leaking blood discolors the skin, producing a black, blue, yellow, or green hue. Your bruise will swell and feel painful, but these symptoms should go away on their own within a few days or weeks.
In a high-speed collision, the force of the seat belt can fracture your ribs or collarbone, producing the following outcomes:
- Pain, particularly when inhaling
These bones heal in six to eight weeks, and doctors will not put you into a cast for such injuries. Nevertheless, you will likely need to reduce your physical activity until the bones heal.
Torn Chest Muscles
You have muscles throughout your chest to help you carry your body weight and move your upper limbs. You also have intercostal muscles between the ribs to expand your chest so you can breathe. The movement of your body in a car accident, combined with the pressure of your seat belt, can result in the hyperextension and tearing of these muscles during a crash.
Symptoms of a torn chest muscle can include any of the following:
- Muscle pain and swelling
- Weakness and stiffness
- Muscle spasms
These injuries typically heal within four to six weeks.
Liability For Seat Belt Injuries in Kansas City, Missouri
The liability for your car accident injuries will fall on the driver who intentionally or negligently caused your crash. Under Missouri law, the at-fault driver is liable for all reasonably foreseeable injuries. That does not require that the driver foresee your exact injury, but it does require you to show that your seat belt injuries fell within the scope of harm typically experienced in a crash.
A Kansas City seat belt injury attorney can help you prove your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Kansas City Car Accident Attorneys To Discuss Your Seat Belt Injuries
The liability for seat belt injuries, like all foreseeable injuries resulting from a crash, falls on the at-fault driver and their insurer. Contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at (816) 408-3448 for a free consultation to discuss all of your injuries and how we can help you recover fair compensation for them.