In 2017 in Texas, 254,853 persons were injured in motor vehicle crashes with 17,546 of them sustaining an incapacitating injury. The death toll was 3,721. Approximately 40 percent of those killed were not wearing a seat belt. At Springer & Lyle, we encourage everyone to fasten up when riding in a vehicle. But we also want to warn you about the real possibility of seat belt injuries, what they are, and the need to seek immediate treatment for them.
The “Seat Belt Syndrome”
“Seat Belt Syndrome” is just what it sounds like. It refers to injuries suffered by those in vehicle crashes in which the seat belt contributes to the injury.
A few of the most common seat belt injures that occur include:
- Compression injuries. Organs under the lap belt can be compressed by the seat belt and result in internal injuries that are often not noticed immediately after the accident. When only a lap belt is worn, as sometimes happens with those in the back seat, the head and torso are thrust forward or sideways, and there can be even more damage to the internal organs, particularly the bladder.
- Contusions of the anterior abdominal wall. This is caused by the pressure of the lap belt when the body is thrown suddenly forward then backward. It can result in lumbar spine fractures, trauma to the bowel, spleen, liver, and other organs and blood vessels.
- Muscle strains and bruising. These occur in the areas under the shoulder strap. There may be discoloration or swelling under the path of the belt across the chest and neck. If you have difficulty in breathing or chest or back pain, seek medical treatment immediately. You may have suffered heart or lung damage.
- Whiplash. When the shoulder and lap belt hold the body in place, but the head is suddenly jerked forward and backward, you may suffer from a whiplash.
If you experience any symptoms after a vehicular collision that you did not experience before it, particularly if you have dizziness, leg weakness or neck pain or stiffness, or labored or painful breathing, seek medical treatment.
If you were in an wreck and suffered any injury due to the negligence of another, the personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the reasonable compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940-387-0404 for a free consultation.