Thanks to extensive public awareness campaigns and education over the past few decades, many more people make wearing their seat belts while driving a habit than ever before. Most of us in Missouri and Illinois who habitually “click it” before ever moving our cars out of “park” have faith that seatbelts will protect us in the event we get into a motor vehicle accident. We never anticipate that an unexpected car crash might cause us or our loved ones serious enough injuries that we might need to contact a St. Louis personal injury lawyer for help. The unfortunate truth, however, is that seat belts can and do fail.
Many times, those in the auto industry who are responsible for seat belt design will try to muddy the waters by placing all the focus on which driver caused a car accident. When it comes to a seat belt defect or failure case, though, this simply isn’t the most critical question to answer. Who caused the crash isn’t nearly as important to determine as: 1. Was the injured victim properly buckled into a seat belt; and 2. Would a well-designed seat restraint system have led to less serious injuries?
If the answer to both of those questions is “Yes,” then an injured individual may very well be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle and/or restraint system alleging seat belt failure. Those Missouri and Illinois residents who feel that they or loved ones have been hurt due to seat belt defects should keep some important issues in mind if considering filing a personal injury claim in civil court.
You can take steps now to help strengthen a seat belt defect or failure case
First: preserving vital evidence like the vehicle and safety restraint system involved in the collision can be absolutely key to a successfully-litigated case. An experienced personal injury attorney can take the necessary steps to ensure that an insurance company maintains the vehicle in question in an appropriate manner so it can be used as evidence at trial.
Second: interviewing witnesses or emergency responders as soon after a serious collision as possible can improve the chances of accurate and reliable testimony. For instance, in a seat belt defect case, it can be crucial to prove that a victim was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. In the event that a first responder unbuckles a victim to give them medical treatment, other responders who arrive to the scene at a later time might incorrectly report that the individual had been unrestrained in the crash. This can make acting quickly to properly document the facts of a case extremely important.
As a St. Louis personal injury lawyer with decades of experience in trying cases, I am dedicated to helping clients fight to obtain the financial restitution they need to cover medical and other expenses incurred because of seat belt defects or failure. Please contact my personal injury law firm toll-free at 1-888-586-7041 so we can set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We are only paid if we collect money on your behalf; and we don’t see a penny unless we either settle your case with the defendant or its insurance company – or succeed in winning a favorable verdict at trial.
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