When drivers think of safety, they may think of seatbelts, airbags, and other standard features. It is unlikely that the front seatback comes to mind – but a vehicle’s seatback plays a vital role in keeping occupants safe in the event of a collision.
Seatbacks that are defective in some way can be enormously dangerous to drivers and rear passengers. If a seatback fails or collapses, which most commonly occurs in rear-end collisions, it can lead to debilitating injuries or even death.
If your seatback failed in a motor vehicle crash, contact William Mattar law offices today. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their cars are safe. When their failure to do so causes serious injury, we advocate for innocent victims so they can receive the compensation they need and to hold manufacturers accountable. Call (844) 444-4444 today to speak to an accident attorney who can handle your case.
How Can a Seatback Fail?
Most passenger cars have seatbacks, which refers to the upper section of the car seat that includes the headrest. Typically, only the front seats in a vehicle have seatbacks, which the occupants can adjust. The seatback is critical in a collision because it keeps passengers in an upright position.
When a seatback failure occurs, the seat collapses backward, often abruptly. Not only is this dangerous to the occupant in the seat, but it can also strike or crush the passenger sitting behind them. The momentum of a collision can cause passengers to suffer a wide range of serious injuries if a seatback collapses. In this frightening scenario, a driver may also be flung into the back seat or lose control of the car.
Causes of Seatback Collapse
Unlike other automobile part issues, seatback failure is usually related to a defect of some kind, as opposed to poor maintenance. In other words, if a seatback collapses, it’s safe to say it is probably due to defective manufacturing, design, or installation.
Contact an experienced accident attorney today if you suspect a seatback defect caused your accident injuries.
Seatback Failure Accident Injuries
Seatback failure can cause a passenger’s head, neck, and body to slam against the vehicle’s interior, resulting in devastating injuries. Due to the motion of a person crashing backward, spinal injuries and paralysis can result. Other potential accident injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Neck injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Head injuries;
- Organ damage; and
Rear-seat passengers are also vulnerable in a seatback failure incident, particularly young children. The Center for Injury Research and Prevention conducted a study that found that “seatback deformation” doubled the injury risk for children sitting directly behind a front seat.
Seatback Standards and Recalls
The need for safety standards for seatbacks has been a heated topic over the years. Some experts have urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to update federal front seat safety guidelines to help prevent rear passenger fatalities. This comes after a CBS News investigation found that roughly 100 people have been killed in back seats in motor vehicle crashes.
Automakers are responsible for issuing recalls when their products are not safe for drivers and passengers. Recently, Ford recalled over 550,000 vehicles with weak seats that can fail to restrain occupants in a collision.
Seatback failures can leave victims with life-long injuries and limitations and make day-to-day life challenging. If you were seriously injured in a car accident when your seat broke, you might be entitled to compensation. Accident victims may receive compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost wages or income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. A personal injury lawyer can work to hold the automaker that produced the defective seat responsible for your injuries and help you achieve financial recovery.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney Today
If you have been the victim of a seatback failure accident, contact William Mattar. Our product liability attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to handle defective auto product claims. Schedule a free initial consultation today, call (844) 444-4444, or complete our online consultation form.