1. Your first priority is to seek medical care for anyone who might have been injured.
2. Report the accident to the police and make sure a police report is filed.
3. Record the name, address, and telephone number of the other party and all witnesses.
4. Get insurance information such as the insurance agent, policy and insurance company.
5. Take photographs if possible of the location and damaged property.
6. Be careful of what you say. Remember not to provide a statement to anyone until you consult with a lawyer.
7. Seek the advice of an experienced California injury attorney immediately to begin protecting your rights.
Each year on U.S. highways and streets, many individuals suffer a seat belt personal injury in a collision.
Although the use of seat belts in the U.S. has steadily increased and is at an all-time high - 79 percent - more lives would be saved if vehicle manufacturers would make better seat belt systems that do not result in personal injury or death. There are hundreds of car makes and models available to American consumers, with many different seat belt configurations. Not all of the vehicles on the road have effective seat belts, and thousands of people are hurt or killed each year due to a seat belt failure or injury.
It is clearly advisable to use seat belts; these safety features saved the lives of over 14,000 people in 2002 alone, according to the federal government´s statistics. Indeed, over half of the drivers and passengers killed on American roadways each year were not wearing a seat belt. But Seat Belt Personal Injuries Do Occur.
However, even though buckling up significantly increases your chances of surviving a motor vehicle accident, a variety of seat belt design flaws and inadequacies have been documented and which have resulted in various seat belt injuries. Seat belt injuries may occur as a result of the following:Lap belt only designs: When a driver or passenger (especially a backseat passenger) is wearing a lap belt only, a collision can cause a serious seat belt. For example, a front-end collision can make the wearer "submarine" forward and down, causing severe head, neck, and spinal cord injuries. A rear-end collision can cause the wearer to be ejected from the vehicle.
Failure of a mechanical component of the seat belt system can result in the seat belt providing only a partial restraint, or not holding in a vehicle occupant at all. An untethered occupant of a moving vehicle in a collision may go through the windshield or other window, or he or she may be ejected from the vehicle entirely.
The retractor component of a seat belt may malfunction, leaving slack in the seat belt that allows the occupant to move out of the seat belt during even a minor collision. When a human body that is moving due to a collision´s impact hits the loose belt, a serious seat belt injury can occur.
In non-integrated systems that have a lap belt and a shoulder harness that are not designed to work in tandem, the shoulder harness may not fully engage in a collision, or it may not engage at all.
In some car models, a shoulder harness automatically moves across the front-seat occupants when the car´s ignition is engaged, but the lap belt must be used manually. Individuals may forget that a shoulder harness alone is not enough to comprise an effective seat belt system. A seat belt injury due to the presence of only a functioning shoulder harness may then occur.
When a vehicle rolls over, the seat belt may not hold an occupant in place. He or she may be ejected from the vehicle or may fall against the roof of the vehicle. This is a particular concern in SUVs and pickup trucks, which are more prone to rollovers than sedans.
If a seat belt injury has befallen you or a member of your family, contact a seasoned attorney at the Kuvara Law Firm 1-800-4-INJURY today to arrange a private consultation. We have successfully handled hundreds of vehicle accident cases, and we can help you protect your legal rights. Our offices for personal injury are located in San Jose, San Rafael, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill, Vallejo, Fairfield, Santa Rosa, San Mateo, Redwood City, and Newark.
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