Wearing seatbelts is second nature for most drivers and passengers in Illinois, yet if you don’t wear one and get into an accident, you could put yourself at greater risk for a serious liver injury. If you were not wearing your seatbelt during a traffic mishap, you may not receive all of the compensation you think you deserve.
Blunt abdominal trauma responsible for liver injuries
According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vehicle crashes result in nearly 2 million emergency room visits annually, with care costing $1 trillion. The liver and the spleen are the two most commonly injured organs in car accidents. Surgeons can remove the spleen if it is too heavily damaged, but the liver must remain, as it is necessary for various vital processes. The study also indicated that 15% of patients in the study had severe liver injuries, and of that percentage, another 15% died. Only 8% of patients with mild or moderate liver damage died. Those wearing seatbelts were 21% less likely to suffer severe liver injuries, while the percentage went even higher when airbags were also deployed.
Only relying on airbags alone could reduce injury awards
The problem arises with some drivers and passengers as they believe that airbags are enough to protect them from severe accident injuries, so they forego seatbelts. The combination of these safety devices is necessary for protecting yourself and your passengers as much as possible.
Suppose the accident investigation shows that you did not wear a seatbelt during the mishap. In that case, you run the risk of the defendant’s attorney attempting to prove that you exacerbated your injuries by not doing so. If the court agrees, you could end up with a smaller award, which may not cover the full extent of your medical bills and other losses.