Did the seat belt fail?
October 20, 2009 7:57 AM Subscribe
Automobile accident: Did the seat belt fail? What should we do?
posted by anonymous to law & government (10 answers total)
My wife was recently involved in an automobile accident. She was driving our 07 Kia Spectra and rear-ended a large SUV on an exit ramp connecting two major highways(no intersection or traffic lights involved), traveling at about 45mph. The ramp has 2 lanes, and the collision occurred when she was switching from the left-hand lane to the right. She was ticketed by a state trooper for "unsafe lane change."
Her injuries are, thankfully, limited to some severe bruising across her abdomen and shoulder, and pain that she describes as muscle soreness. The other driver did not leave the scene in an ambulance, injuries were probably less severe than my wife's.
My actual question concerns the seat belt. After the collision, the seat belt was fully extended and hanging loosely, and the buckle had come undone. The seat belt did not retract after the accident, and appears to have not locked during. That doesn't seem normal. We have photos of the seat belt fully extended and hanging loosely, not retracting, but when we went to check out the car a couple of days ago, the buckle seemed to be functioning normally, so it would be difficult or impossible to prove it came undone. Of course, I can't put nearly the same force on it by yanking that a high-speed collision would cause.
Should we contact Kia? A lawyer? Or is that totally normal and we should let it go? We're really thankful that the injuries aren't any worse than they are, but we also think something should be done about that seat belt, if it indeed malfunctioned.
If it matters, location is north-east edge of DFW metroplex.