Can using a seat belt cause a shoulder injury? Are there other possible injuries associated with using a seat belt in an automobile accident? Seat belts save lives and reduce injury risk by as much as 50% and fatality risk by up to 86%. However, that doesn't mean they don't also cause injuries. When an accident occurs, the seat belt helps absorb impact and restrains the vehicle occupant from striking parts of the car's interior. However, this can exert considerable strain on soft tissue, organs, and the skeletal system.
Seat belts and crumple zones help absorb the force of impact, but a car accident can still break ribs and cause chest contusions even with the use of a seat belt. The force of impact coupled with the restraint may also dislocate shoulders or cause injury to the spinal column. When an individual is wearing a 3-point restraint system, the force of the impact commonly radiates from the shoulder down, which can result in a shoulder injury.
A shoulder injury can affect the AC joint, whose bones separate under the forceful compression of the impact. This type of injury can reduce range of motion and cause considerable pain that persists throughout the recovery period. Impingement syndrome poses another shoulder injury risk during a car accident. As inflammation within the tendons around the rotator cuff builds, the tendons can thicken and reduce shoulder motion. From 1996 to 2006, rotator cuff repairs increased 141% in part because of improved treatments that repair this common automobile accident injury.
Another injury risk is "Seat Belt Syndrome", which impacts the abdominal cavity. This injury is caused by the lap belt, and is most common in simple lap belts, as opposed to those that include a shoulder strap. This syndrome can affect the stomach, intestines, liver, and other abdominal organs. The symptoms are often subtle and develop over the first 24 hours post-accident. Signs of abrasion on the neck, chest, or abdomen are common external indicators of this internal injury.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a car accident attorney, lawyer, and abogado with attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois who experience a shoulder injury in a motor vehicle accident and the survivors of those who suffer a wrongful death. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Americus, Matfield Green, Cassoday, Burns, Lost Springs, Hillsboro, Emporia, Potwin, Hamilton, Lakin, Leoti, Tribune, Scott City, Hugoton, Burlington, Gridley, Virgil, Quincy, Madison, Sublette, Lexington, Arapahoe, Cambridge, Curtis, McCook, Trenton, Benkelman, Imperial, Wauneta, Morton, Hopedale, Manito, Strafford, Nixa, Sparta, Marshfield, Pleasant Hope, Mt. Vernon, Conway, Golden City, Lawton, Leawood, Derby, Topeka, Aurora, Naperville, Ninnekah, Rush Springs, Lindsay, Apache, Binger, Oklahoma City, Purcell, Fort Cobb, Chicago, Miami, or elsewhere in these states, our team works to secure the compensation our clients need to recover from a shoulder injury caused by a seat belt.
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