Your car’s seat belts are some of its more important safety features. After all, according to the Zebra, a car insurance aggregator, seat belts prevent nearly 15,000 traffic fatalities every single year. They also keep countless others from suffering life-altering injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
After a crash, you are likely to be thankful for your car’s seat belts. Still, because of both the way seat belts work and the forces car accidents generate, your seat belt may cause you to suffer a potentially disastrous injury.
What is seat belt syndrome?
Rather than being a single injury or specific medical condition, seat belt syndrome refers to many different injuries you may suffer when wearing your seat belt during an automobile accident. Your seat belt syndrome may be minor, such as a superficial bruise, or major, like internal organ damage.
How do you know the difference?
When it comes to seat belt syndrome, it can be virtually impossible to distinguish between minor injuries and catastrophic ones. This is because your body may not react immediately to injuries. On the other hand, you may have excruciating pain or other symptoms that are mostly harmless.
The only effective way you can know the difference between a minor injury and a possibly life-threatening one is to go to the hospital. Doctors in the emergency room have access to a variety of diagnostic tools, allowing them to evaluate your seat belt syndrome and recommend a treatment plan.
Hospital visits can be expensive, of course. Ultimately, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the driver or drivers who caused the crash to help you pay for your medical care and other damages.