Albuquerque Seatbelt Injury Lawyer

Seat belts work. In its most recent analysis of U.S. crash data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that seat belts saved nearly 15,000 lives in a recent year. They spread the impact energy across the wearer’s shoulder, chest, and hips. This redistribution saves the person’s head from injury, but it can cause other harm.

New Mexico law places the blame for all injuries, regardless of the mechanism, on the driver who caused the car accident. An Albuquerque seat belt injury lawyer from Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers can fight for fair financial compensation for all your injuries, including those caused by your seat belt.

Call our Albuquerque, NM law firm today at (505) 785-7770 for a free case evaluation to learn more.

How Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With a Seat Belt Injury Claim in Albuquerque, NM

How Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With a Seat Belt Injury Claim in Albuquerque, NM

Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers has been fighting for injured people in Albuquerque, New Mexico, since 2011. Over that time, our Albuquerque auto accident lawyers have recovered over $50 million in compensation from at-fault parties and their insurers.

If you suffer an injury due to someone else’s culpable actions, our law firm can provide the following services:

  • A free consultation to review your case and explain your legal options
  • A thorough investigation of your auto accident
  • Filing your insurance claim and negotiating with the insurer to settle your case
  • Litigating aggressively against parties and insurers that refuse to settle

Seat belt injuries are usually minor but can cause significant economic losses when combined with other injuries. Contact our Albuquerque personal injury lawyers to discuss compensation for all your car crash injuries.

How Effective Are Seat Belts?

According to the New Mexico annual Traffic Crash Report, unbelted motorists involved in crashes in 2021 were over twice as likely to suffer injury or death as those who wore seat belts. 

Specifically, the state’s 2021 crash statistics showed the following:

  • 13.9% of unbelted motorists in crashes died, and 51.4% were injured
  • 0.2% of belted motorists died, and 20.0% were injured
  • 34.7% of unbelted motorists escaped their crashes unharmed
  • 79.9% of belted motorists escaped their crashes unharmed

From these numbers, you can calculate the following statistics for New Mexico drivers and passengers in 2021:

  • Unbelted vehicle occupants were nearly 89 times more likely to die
  • Occupants without seat belts were over 2.5 times more likely to suffer injury
  • Riding without a seat belt dropped motorists’ odds of escaping unharmed by over half

These numbers prove what the Centers for Disease Control reports about seat belts. Seat belts are the most effective way to avoid serious injury or death in a crash.

Claims For Seat Belt Injuries

You might think you can only pursue claims for injuries inflicted by the other driver’s car. To the contrary, you can seek financial compensation for any reasonably foreseeable injuries caused by the other driver’s negligent or wrongful actions. In practice, this means that a car accident claim can include injuries that happened when your body hit your seat belt.

Common Seat Belt Injuries

Seat belts prevent serious injury or death by locking in response to a sudden acceleration or deceleration that occurs in a crash. Seat belts are most effective in rear-end collisions and head-on crashes because your body will whip forward and backward.

Seat belts are less effective in side-impact crashes. This is partly intentional. You do not want your seat belt to lock when your vehicle gets hit from the side. Instead, you want your body to remain free to slide away from the door that may collapse and crush you.

As your body whips forward during a frontal or rear-end collision, your seat belt catches you and prevents you from striking your head on the steering wheel or dashboard. 

But the force of the seat belt on your chest and abdomen can produce other injuries, such as:

  • Bruised chest
  • Broken ribs
  • Neck and shoulder abrasions
  • Bruised hip

In rare cases, seat belts can cause life-threatening internal injuries. For example, the force exerted by the seat belt on your abdomen can tear your abdominal muscles and intestines.

Proving Liability For Seat Belt Injuries

You can pursue legal claims for any injuries “caused” by the other driver’s actionable conduct. Causation has two parts. Cause-in-fact means the other person’s driving naturally and logically led to your injury. In other words, you can construct a chain of events linking the other driver’s actions to your injury.

Proximate cause means an injury was the foreseeable result of the other driver’s actions. This does not mean the other driver had to foresee that you would suffer a seat belt injury. Instead, it means a reasonable person in that driver’s position would have known their actions were dangerous enough to cause some kind of injury.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Albuquerque Auto Accident Lawyer at Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers

Seat belt injuries can cause pain and temporary disabilities. Contact Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with an Albuquerque car accident attorney to discuss your crash and the compensation you can seek for your injuries.