What a Seat Belt Mark After an Accident Means

Image of a seat belt. Black and red.Wearing a seatbelt when in an automobile can save the wearer’s life in case of a car accident. From 1975 to 2017, seatbelts have saved around 374,276 lives in road crashes.

Seatbelts have reduced the number of fatalities caused by head injuries, but they can still inflict harm.  Seat belt syndrome, often known as seat belt injury, is a collection of typical injury profiles linked to the use of seatbelts. These can include abdominal injuries, vertebral fractures, and seat belt signs, which are bruises and abrasions caused by the distribution of the seatbelt. A seat belt sign, also known as a seat belt mark, oftentimes indicates that the victim has severe injuries.

Should You Be Worried About Those Seat Belt Marks? What Causes Seat Belt Injuries?

People involved in motor vehicle accidents should never ignore seat belt marks. They can indicate that a person may be suffering from serious injuries, such as severe organ damage. Seatbelt-related injuries are due to the transmission of force during a car crash caused by a passenger‘s restraint. They require immediate medical treatment and can be fatal if left untreated.

Common Seat Belt-Related Injuries

Common seat belt injuries include lacerations, abdominal pain and trauma, internal injuries such as internal organ damage, chest injuries, fractured ribs, and injuries in the lumbar and thoracic spines. Seat belt syndrome injuries usually involve serious injury to the kidneys, stomach, bowels, intestines, colon, lungs, and heart.

Seat Belt Signs and Seat Belt Syndrome

The characteristic bruising or abrasion across the chest and belly, where the seat belt makes contact with the upper body, is known as a seat belt sign. Life-threatening internal injuries are very likely if there are seat belt signs after a motor vehicle accident.

Seat belt syndrome combines signs of seat belts and injuries to the abdominal organs and the spine.

Since a seat belt sign can indicate internal injuries, seek medical attention immediately. Visit the emergency department as soon as possible to seek medical care.

What Are The Signs of Seat Belt Syndrome? Is Seat Belt Syndrome Common?

Car accident victims should be aware of the signs of seat belt syndrome. The blunt force trauma brought about by the constricting restraints during an auto accident can result in the following symptoms:

  • Bruising or contusion in the midsection

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Abdominal pain

  • Loss of motion

  • Abnormal bowel movements

  • Dark or bloody stool or urine

  • Bowel perforation

Seat belt syndrome is common. Seat belt use has been increasing over the past two decades. While seat belts have effectively reduced mortality rates from motor vehicle crashes, the use of the safety belt has also introduced a whole new class of fatal injuries.

How is Seat Belt Syndrome Diagnosed?

Woman wearing a seat belt which left a mark after an auto accidentA few different methods can be used to diagnose seat belt syndrome. X-rays and CT scans are frequently used to identify invisible and internal injuries. Immediately becoming life-threatening are severe wounds, particularly those to the abdominal wall or intestinal perforation. A full medical evaluation and physical examination performed by a medical professional can help provide an early diagnosis. By doing this, you may make sure that you receive the proper medical care if you suffer an internal injury. It can help ensure that the patient receives the right treatment for injuries caused by seat belt usage. A pain management doctor can also help diagnose any underlying conditions and provide nonsurgical treatment and therapies.

An important tool for identifying internal injuries is focused abdominal sonography in trauma (FAST). This examination searches for free fluid, a sign of significant internal damage, in the abdominal cavity. This can help doctors determine the extent of the injury and the sort of surgery that could be required.  It prevents the risk of missed intestinal injuries as well as abdominal injuries.

Seat Belt Syndrome Treatment

Several treatments are used for seat belt injuries and the medical treatment choice depends on the type and extent of the seat belt syndrome injuries.  Some injuries necessitate surgery, such as abdominal surgery, and lengthy hospital or care facility recuperation periods. Other injuries could necessitate physical therapy or a referral to a pain management doctor.

Medical expenses can quickly mount up since medical care is so expensive. Victims also have the option to demand damages for medical bills from the at-fault driver. Victims should seek medical care immediately to ensure that they can receive treatment on time and demand for their rightful damages.

Can I Sue For Seat Belt Syndrome?

Clicking in a seat beltThe short answer is yes. Victims of motor vehicle crashes who have suffered from seat belt injuries and other fatal injuries can sue both their insurance provider and the at-fault driver.

If the insurance provider refuses to pay for the seat belt syndrome injuries, then the victim can sue for their unpaid and overdue medical bills, therapist bills, and lost wages.

They can also sue the at-fault driver for the pain and suffering they suffered and economic losses.

What To Do After a Car Accident

Regardless of the type of injuries incurred and even if there seems to be none, it is important to seek medical attention immediately and go to the nearest emergency department. Immediate medical attention is necessary, especially if the victim plans to use his personal injury protection benefits.

How to Recover Compensation for Seat Belt Syndrome

A man wearing plaid shirt wearing a seat beltA car accident victim must submit an application for no-fault benefits to the accountable vehicle insurance company within one year of the accident in order to lodge a compensation claim for seat belt syndrome and possibly, more severe injuries. The car insurance company will pay for the victim’s no-fault benefits to cover medical bills.

He can also file a complaint and demand damages from the at-fault driver. How much compensation he can get will depend on different factors, such as unpaid and overdue no-fault benefits, economic damages such as lost wages, and the extent of his pain and suffering.

Until When Can I Sue for Injuries Caused By Seat Belts After a Car Crash?

Car accident victims have three years to sue the at-fault party for injuries caused by seat belts in an auto accident. Of course, the sooner that the plaintiff can seek legal counsel, the better. He can focus on his healing while his personal injury lawyer ensures he can get maximum compensation. He can use the damages for his treatment of any internal organ injury and other underlying seatbelt sign injuries.

Car Accident Victims Should Contact a Personal Injury Attorney.

Whether there are visible injuries or not, car accident victims should seek the help of a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney right away. Even if the victim feels fine but sees a belt-shaped pattern on his upper body, he should immediately seek medical and legal assistance. Call us at The Clark Law Office for a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will work to recover the maximum damages that you deserve.

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