Seat belts are crucial when it comes to saving lives and preventing injuries in a car accident. But while seat belts keep people safe, there are some cases where they might cause shoulder injuries. In the event of seat belt injuries to the shoulder in an accident, you may be able to recover damages if the seat belt was defective in some way.
Shoulder Injuries from a Seat Belt
When a car accident occurs, the motion of the seat belt locking down and restricting the body combined with the victim grasping the steering wheel and slamming forward can result in a shoulder injury. Below are some common types of injuries that may cause shoulder pain after a car accident.
- Tears to the rotator cuff
- Tears to the labrum part of the shoulder joint
- Muscle tears
- Dislocation injuries
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, depending upon the type of injury, treatment may involve the following.
- Shoulder conditioning exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medications
While the injuries above are often preferable to the injuries that a victim may sustain without a seat belt, many of these injuries are avoidable.
When a Shoulder Injury is the Result of a Seat Belt Defect or Insufficiency
In some cases, a seat belt causes a shoulder injury because the driver/passenger wasn’t wearing the belt properly at the time of the accident. Other times, though, a victim using a belt as instructed is nonetheless injured.
When this happens, it may be because the seat belt is defective or because the seat belt is insufficient for adequate protection. If a car contains a defective or insufficient seat belt and the seat belt causes a shoulder injury that the occupant would not have suffered otherwise if the seat belt was working sufficiently, the manufacturer of the vehicle/seat belt may be liable for damages in a product liability lawsuit.
Discuss Your Options with a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you believe a defective seat belt caused your shoulder injury, discuss your options for recovery with the personal injury attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair in Des Moines. We can help you get started filing your lawsuit today. In Iowa, you only have two years to file your claim so it’s important to act sooner rather than later.