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Abdominal Injuries from Lap Seat Belts

A car accident victim can suffer abdominal injuries from lap seat belts if the lap belt was defective in design or function. Abdominal injuries from lap seat belts are commonly reported injuries that are sustained by car accident victims when the lap belt fails to provide adequate protection during a collision. Abdominal injuries from lap seat belts are also inherent to the inadequate design of lap belts. Since the 1950s, medical studies have proven that wearing a lap belt alone is not enough to protect a victim from suffering serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident.

According to government statistics, the lack of shoulder belt protection is attributed to at least six thousand deaths each year from head and abdominal injuries from lap seat belts in automobile accidents. Frontal impacts are the type of collision most likely to cause abdominal injuries from lap seat belts. Evidence from multiple passenger auto accidents reveals that people secured by a three-point belt system (lap and shoulder belts) are much less likely to sustain serious injury than passengers protected only by lap belts. Passengers who are secured only by lap belts can be violently thrown into the back of the front seating or into any unyielding object in front of them easily causing abdominal injuries from lap seat belts.

The prevalence of abdominal injuries from lap seat belts has been known for decades, yet the automobile industry has staunchly resisted measures that require the modification of their vehicles to provide more protection to passengers involved in automobile accidents. In 1967, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration proposed legislation that would require all out boar seating positions to be equipped with three-point belt systems. Ford and other big auto makers successfully lobbied to block the passage of this legislation.

In 1972, auto makers were required to supply anchorage brackets for shoulder belts at all rear positioned seats. Instead of installing a shoulder belt, many companies took what was actually a more expensive and less effective approach by retrofitting existing belt structures. This did nothing to protect people from abdominal injuries from lap seat belts and automobile accidents. Eventually manufacturers were required to install three-point belt systems in the rear side positioned vehicle seating. The prevalence of abdominal injuries from lap seat belts was largely mitigated by this mandate, though passengers in the rear center position may still be vulnerable to abdominal injuries from lap seat belts in accidents when not afforded the protection of shoulder belts.

Passengers that are involved in collisions are much more likely to sustain abdominal injuries from lap seat belts than passengers with adequate protection. Punctures to the intestines and other organs of the abdominal region, as well as bruising and other trauma are all potential abdominal injuries from lap seat belts. Though auto makers are well aware of the threat of abdominal injuries from lap seat belts, some still choose to sacrifice human health at the alter of economic gain. If you or a loved one has sustained abdominal injuries from lap seat belts, you may wish to contact a qualified attorney who can determine if you are eligible to seek compensation for your damages in a lawsuit.

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1412 S. 62 nd Street
West Allis, WI 53214