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Seatback Failure
Most people are aware of standard car safety features such as airbags, headrests, and seatbelts; however, few know the importance of car seats, specifically seatback systems, in protecting drivers and passengers.
John T. Flood is an attorney in Texas who focuses on seatback failure cases. Call (361) 654-8877 to get compensation for faulty seatback feature injury.

Car seats are designed with more than passenger comfort in mind; seats are manufactured with a reaction-based system that when functioning properly, provides support and keeps a passenger upright in the event of an accident. Seatback failure can inflict serious injury or death in the event of an accident.

What is a Seatback?

A seatback refers to the upright portion of a car seat. In most cars with only two rows of seats, only the driver and front passenger seats have seatback protection. Larger vehicles – such as trucks and SUVs with multiple rows of seats – can have seatbacks applied to back seat rows as well. While seatbacks can be adjusted for comfort while traveling, their main intended purpose is to keep occupants upright and securely in place in a car crash.

Flawed Design

Picture a flimsy lawn chair: a weak, pliable, frame equipped with subpar lumbar support and a less-than-trustworthy reactionary system that allows the chair to fold inward or snap-back with any sudden movement or change in weight. Now, imagine your car being equipped with seats like the hypothetical inadequate lawn chair – scary, right? Drivers and passengers assume their vehicles are made of sturdy materials capable of withstanding collisions – and that includes their seats; unfortunately, seatback failures can occur all too often.

Seatback failure occurs when seat support malfunctions, causing the seat to collapse rearward. The following injuries can be associated with seatback failure:

  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Fractures/broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Amputations
  • Back injuries

The lack of support will force an occupant backwards, meaning their body absorbs the full force of the accident in highly sensitive areas, such as the head, neck, and spine. While many standard auto safety features have been updated over the past several decades due to technological improvements, seatback systems have not been improved upon since the late 1960s.

Automakers have knowingly ignored the faulty and outdated infrastructure of car seatback systems despite hundreds of deaths due to seatback failure. If a parent and child are in an accident involving seatback failure, the aggressive rearward motion can be catastrophic for not only the passenger in the defective seat, but also for any passenger sitting behind them and in danger of being struck.

Texas Car Accident Lawyer

Drivers and passengers put their lives in the hands of automakers every time they get in a vehicle. People trust that their vehicle has been tested and equipped with accurate and up-to-date safety features that will protect them should they be involved in an accident. When automakers fail to address flawed and outdated features known to cause serious injuries and death, they are putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk. No one should suffer worsened injuries in a traumatic car accident just because standard safety features don’t work. If you or a loved one has been harmed by seatback failure, rest assured that John Flood is here to listen to you and defend your rights. Were you injured by a seatback failure in Texas? Call attorney John Flood at (361) 654-8877 today for a free initial case evaluation. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Seatback Failure

What are the main causes of seatback failure?

Seatback failure occur when the weight of a vehicle occupant forces the back of a seat to collapse. This is caused by fault seat design, improper vehicle assembly, or negligent installation, among other causes.

What types of injuries result from seatback failure?

Seatback failures cause serious injuries because back seat passengers can be crushed by a front seat that fails and occupants can be ejected by a faulty seat. Any of these scenarios can cause broken bones, road rash, amputation, burns, head and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and wrongful death.

How do I know if my seatback feature is defective?

It can be hard to know if a seatback is defective. Some vehicle defects are listed online at government websites such as https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. Notably, seats without a headrest or with a headrest that does not afford adequate protection are often defective. Additionally, if the track on which the seat moves isn’t strong enough, it can throw you back and forth rapidly causing injury.

What should I do if I was injured by a seatback failure?

If you or a loved one were injured or killed as the result of a seatback failure, you may have a product liability claim entitling you to financial compensation. You must act quickly to preserve the evidence necessary to investigate the design and manufacture of the vehicle following the seatback failure accident. Having the vehicle safely preserved is an important part of preparing your case.

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