We have always heard law enforcement say that wearing seat belts is your key to safety during car accidents. However, while your seat belt may contribute to saving your life, it can also cause life-altering injuries.
Many people are unaware of seat belt syndrome, which leaves marks and bruises on your abdomen and chest and can lead to various injuries. If a car accident has caused you to suffer from seat belt syndrome, you can recover compensation from the responsible party.
What is seat belt syndrome?
Seat belt syndrome comprises various injuries associated with the use of seat belts. Such injuries occur when the seat belt compresses the abdomen and the chest and leaves marks and bruises. The injuries may include intra-abdominal injuries and vertebral fractures. Other body parts which may be harmed include the stomach, kidneys, bladder, colon, and spinal cord.
Signs and symptoms of seat belt syndrome
- Abdominal pain.
Any pain in your abdomen should be taken seriously. If you experience acute or prolonged pain in your abdomen, it may be a sign of trauma-caused muscular or internal injuries.
- Loss of motion.
Your car’s seat belts put pressure on you to hold you in place. This pressure can affect your nervous system, causing damage to your spinal cord, vertebrae, brain, or nerves. You may experience loss of motion or even paralysis.
- Midsection bruising.
The extent of force in severe accidents can cause the seat belt to put pressure around your midsection, causing it to bruise. You may develop a belt-shaped pattern on your torso and abdomen. Such bruises can lead to blood clots and numbness.
- Abnormal bowel movements.
Seat belt syndrome can cause internal injuries and bleeding. If you experience blood in your stool after a car accident, you need to consult a doctor immediately.
Is it difficult to diagnose seat belt syndrome?
Seat belt syndrome can be hard to detect, even with the help of a medical professional. It is mainly because the symptoms do not develop immediately after the accident. To diagnose such conditions, you may require a CT scan and focused abdominal sonography in trauma (FAST).
Can I sue for seat belt syndrome?
If another person’s negligence had caused the car accident, which led to your seat belt syndrome injuries, you can certainly hold the responsible party accountable and demand compensation. You can ask for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, psychological therapy, and any other damages depending on your condition.
Internal injuries, if left untreated for a long time, can become fatal. Depending on your condition, you may require surgeries, physical therapy, and a lengthy recovery, all of which can be very expensive. An attorney can handle your case so you can focus on your healing.