Seat Back Failure: Collapsing seats can cause catastrophic or deadly injuries

Whenever an Illinois or Missouri car accident occurs, it can leave victims reeling from both physical and emotional pain.  In the event that serious injuries or death result from a rear-end collision, financial suffering can often follow the physical and emotional trauma in the form of staggering medical and other related bills.  For those victims of a rear-end auto accident, it may benefit them to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in order to determine if they may be able to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court of law.  While this won’t return a lost loved one or take away a victim’s injuries, it can help alleviate much of the financial worry a serious car crash can cause.

Rear-end collisions number among some of the most devastating in our country.  In 2005 alone, at least 2,118 victims succumbed to the injuries they incurred in rear-end car crashes.  An average of 50% of all injuries that are caused by auto accidents each year occur in rear-end collisions.  Considering this steep figure, it is absolutely imperative that the seat back structure and head restraint systems that come in the cars we buy are both designed and constructed properly.

Seat Back Structure Critical in Rear-End Collisions

The seat back structure is so important in rear-end collisions because a collapsing seat can injure both the occupants of a front seat and any occupants behind them if they or portions of their seat are propelled back into rear seat passengers.  A properly-designed seat back will allow the structure to maintain integrity and rigidity from beginning to end of a rear-impact accident.  A seat back failure occurs whenever the system designed to maintain the seat in an upright position fails.  This can cause the seat to collapse in a backward motion.

In the event that a seat collapses, it can cause the seat to jerk sharply back and down, sending its occupant flying backward as well.  The most common types of injuries that occur after a seat back fails are paraplegia, quadriplegia, and a broken neck or back leading to death.  Traumatic brain injuries can also occur with this type of collision, leading to lifelong struggles for a victim and their families; or, in the most extreme of cases, death.

Research indicates that the auto industry has known for decades that seat rigidity is crucial in rear-end crashes.  In fact, researchers reported back in 1968 that rigid seat backs can be critical for ensuring more effective support of vehicle occupants after a rear-impact collision occurs.  Of course, for this to be true, the seat back support must be sufficiently tall to keep a passenger’s head from snapping rearward.

Those Injured Due to Seat Back Failure Can Seek Restitution

Seat backs that are inadequately designed or constructed can worsen the types of head and neck injuries that passengers suffer after a rear-end crash.  While it is true that not every seat back will be able to maintain rigidity in every single car accident, there is a certain threshold of speed and force at which a seat back is expected to conform.  In the event that a defective seat back causes a failure under these circumstances, injured victims or their surviving family members may be able to seek financial restitution in the form of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

It can be important for those in Illinois and Missouri who have suffered serious injuries – or who have lost loved ones – in rear-end collisions to have a proper understanding of their rights under the law.  As a St. Louis personal injury attorney who has tried cases for decades, I am more than willing to discuss your case with you at no charge in order to determine if I can help you hold a seat back or auto manufacturer responsible for the injuries you or a loved one has sustained.  In the event that you do hire my firm to represent you, there will still be no charge for our services until and unless we are able to obtain compensation for you.

Please take action now to find out more information that can help you make sure you understand your rights and the steps that can help strengthen your case.  You can reach my law firm, which is experienced in representing Illinois and Missouri clients, by dialing toll-free 1-888-586-7041.  You will pay me nothing for this initial consultation, and nothing thereafter unless I am able to reach a settlement or court award on your behalf.

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