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DEFECTED SEAT BELTS

Over 8,200 of the 23,382 vehicle occupants killed in 2009 were involved in a rollover. Most of those killed, incidentally, were not wearing seat belts. In 2002, it is estimated that 376 children under the age of 5 years old were saved as a result of child restraint use. An estimated 6,567 lives were saved by child restraints from 1975 through 2002.

When a seat belt fails, a vehicle occupant may be:

  • Ejected from the car.
  • Thrown into the windshield, dash or other passengers.
  • Tossed around the inside of the car if the vehicle rolls over, possibly colliding with the roof, windows or other parts of the car.
  • A seat belt failure may be caused by faulty design, manufacture or installation that leads to an injury.
  • False latching or inertia unlatching: the seat belt comes unlatched during a crash.
  • Retractor malfunction: The seat belt does not lock in place during a collision, failing to secure an occupant during a crash.
  • Tears in belt webbing fabric: the seat belt components rip and tear from the impact of a crash.
  • Broken torsion bar: these components may be designed to fail on purpose when too much strain is put on the seat belt system.
While driving her 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier, Miss Markland was struck by another driver that had crossed the center line. Upon impact the airbags did not deploy properly and the passenger door flew open, causing the frame of the vehicle to bend upward, creating slack in the seat belt worn by Miss Markland.  As a result, she suffered serious injuries.

15,000 defective seat belts, which can be found on tractor-trailer trucks driven throughout the country. The request came after a man died from injuries he sustained when he was ejected from his truck.
The manufacturer of a seat belt buckle settled recently for an undisclosed amount in an Alabama lawsuit filed following the death of a truck driver during a collision.



Regarding trucks and buses:

A large seatbelt manufacturer called Indiana Mills and Manufacturing, Inc. (IMMI) manufactured and sold seatbelt buckles for use in heavy trucks and school buses. However, it was soon discovered that the buckles


that are known as the "H2" buckle were defective: An internal design defect causes them to fail to latch. Even more risky, the wearer may not notice that the buckle is not latched. IMMI acknowledged the failure and in 2004 redesigned the H2 buckles; however the defective buckles have not been recalled. Resulting in thousands of heavy truck drivers are at risk of serious injury or even death if their older model H2 buckles fail in a collision. Using this unsafe device, the driver will likely be ejected, most investigating officers will probably assume that the driver was not wearing his seatbelt.

*If you or someone you know has a H2 buckle made by Indiana Mills and Manufacturing, Inc., you may want to contact us immediately!


Sources of compensation for defected seatbelt injuries/losses 
  • Insurance companies
  • Lost wages if you take time off from your job, sick leave or a vacation time to recover from injuries due to an accident, we may be able to get compensation for this time away from work.
  • Wrongful Death
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Impairment of earning capacity
  • Life care expenses
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Loss of consortium (the services of an injured spouse)

  • Loss of advice including comfort, assistance, protection, counsel, companionship