Seatbelt Defects

Knoxville Car Accident Lawyer

Seatbelts are meant to protect a motorist and passenger in a car accident. When a seatbelt defect causes it to fail in an accident, the defect can cause, or increase the severity of, an injury. Knoxville car accident attorney Mark C. Hartsoe represents victims who have been hurt by defective seatbelts in car wrecks. Mr. Hartsoe is a seasoned personal injury lawyer who will review your case and provide the legal guidance you need to hold the at-fault parties accountable for your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.

Seatbelt Defects in Car Accidents

A properly functioning and well-designed seatbelt can protect a person from serious injury and death, but a defective one can cause or exacerbate a car accident victim’s injuries. Seatbelt use while driving or riding in a car is the most effective way to save lives and reduce car accident injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Seatbelts reduce the number of injuries and deaths in car accidents by approximately 50 percent.

While a seatbelt can save lives, a defective one can actually lead to more serious injuries or death in a car accident. Examples of seatbelt defects include:

  • Inadvertent unbuckling from the force of an accident’s impact
  • Belt slack, which can cause a driver or passenger to move excessively in a crash
  • Poor seatbelt design, which can cause the belt to shift to more vulnerable areas of the body, such as the abdomen

A defective seatbelt can send a driver or passenger into the windshield or dashboard, or eject a person from a car in a rollover collision. In any car accident, it is important to investigate whether a seatbelt defect caused or aggravated a victim’s injuries.

Liability for Seatbelt Defects

Tennessee law allows a car accident victim to hold the at-fault parties liable for their injuries. A negligent driver may be responsible for an accident, but a defective seatbelt may have caused or contributed to the severity of a victim’s injuries. In cases where a defective product caused an injury, a victim can potentially hold a car or parts manufacturer accountable.

Under Tennessee law, an injured person can hold a product manufacturer strictly liable for their injuries. This means that the manufacturer is responsible for the injuries caused by its defective product regardless of how careful it was in the design or manufacture of the product. Pursuant to the Tennessee Product Liability Act, a manufacturer can be held liable for injuries if:

  • The product was defective and/or unreasonably dangerous at the time it left the manufacturer’s control; and
  • The victim’s injuries were foreseeable and proximately caused by the defective product.

The burden is on the victim to show that the product was defective and that it caused his or her injuries. Product liability claims within a car accident case can be complex, and require a thorough examination of the accident scene, vehicle, medical records, and consultation with experts. If you suspect that a seatbelt defect caused or worsened your car accident injuries, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney who can identify the various at-fault parties you may be able to hold accountable for your injuries.

Available Damages

If you were hurt in a car accident, a seatbelt defect may have caused or contributed to your injuries. You can seek compensation for your injuries from the manufacturer of a defective seatbelt. You can possibly recover for your hospital and medical costs, car damage, pain and suffering, and more. Tennessee law sets a time limit on when you can file a claim, so it is important to speak with an attorney to know and preserve your rights.

Legal Counseling and Advocacy for Your Injury

Knoxville personal injury lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe will fight for you in your car accident case. Mr. Hartsoe will review the facts of the accident, discuss your legal options with you, and provide the guidance you need to seek compensation for your injuries. He will work towards a fair settlement on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary. For a free consultation, call us today at 865-804-1011 or contact us online.

Client Reviews
I was on my way to Atlanta and a huge truck rear-ended me and knocked me off the side of the road. I was scared. Didn’t know what to do. I tried working with the insurance company. They are just difficult to work with. I had to call somebody to take care of me. So, My brother told me to call Mark Hartsoe. As soon as I called Mark Hartsoe, he let me know real quick that everything was going to be okay and that he would take care of everything. And, he did. He got me a great settlement. He took the worry off of me. Mickey Anderson
I was hit coming home late at night by a drunk driver who took off. And the next day I was able to track down his vehicle and get the state police involved. At that point, a family friend recommended that I talk to Mark Hartsoe. Pretty much at that point, Mark handled the police, the insurance company and the guy who hit me. Settled with the actual person that hit me. Outside of that, everything came out great. Did not have to go to court. Got a great settlement. Got my car replaced. Got a check. Mark Hartsoe is my lawyer. Nate Holder
I was involved in a motorcycle accident. It was a head-on collision. I broke my arm, injured by knee. I was out of work for a long time and had medical bills, other expenses. A personal friend handed me a card for Mark Hartsoe. I called Mark Hartsoe from the side of the road and he took care of everything. My case was settled out of court. I received a great settlement. Bike was totaled, motorcycle was replaced. It was easy, painless. About as painless as something like this can be. This is why my lawyer is Mark Hartsoe. John Lusinger
I wanted to thank you for the excellent representation and your ability to handle the situation so well with such compassion and strength. We appreciate all of your help, concern and for answering my many questions. It has been a difficult road to travel but when we come across people like you, it really helps to lighten the load. We just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you’ve done and your ability to handle the situation so well. S. Carter
Thank you so much for all the work you did on our case. We received more than we expected. You were great through the whole time from the first meeting until the last. Thank you so very much. Sam & Judy Kachar