Products Liability Seatback Failure
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.
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:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Fractures/broken bones
- Head injuries
- 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Automakers have knowingly ignored the faulty and outdated infrastructure of car seatback systems despite hundreds of deaths due to seatback failure.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. Contact us today for your consultation at zero cost.