Seat Back Failure Injury Lawsuit

Defective Seat Backs Injury Lawsuit seat back failure



Car seats are designed to remain intact during an automobile accident in order to protect the passengers. When a seat back fails, it can lead to severe injuries including paralysis or spinal cord injuries. If a seat back fails and leads to your injury, you may have a product liability claim for your injury. We handle automotive defective product cases. Let us know if we can help you.

What Is A Seat Back

A seat back is the upright portion of an automobile seat. It should be able to keep the vehicle’s passengers safe by reducing the momentum an individual experiences during a collision, preventing the occupant from impacting the interior or, even worse, being completely ejected from the vehicle.

What are the dangers associated with seat back failure?

Lack of strength is the biggest danger posed by some seat back designs. A seat back failure can interfere with the restraint system, allowing vehicle occupants to impact rear seat objects in rear-impact collisions, because they are not properly restrained. In some instances, passengers can be completely ejected from the vehicle when they are able to slide out from under the safety restraints due to the seat back failure. Also, a front-row seat back collapse can injure the rear seat passengers during rear-impact collisions, because the rear seat occupants can become trapped underneath the collapsed seat back.

The safety of a vehicle is often at the forefront of consumer minds. But while the crash-worthiness of a car is important, it can be difficult to distinguish safe designs, protective auto products and an overall product that will safeguard even the most precious vehicle cargo.

The design and materials comprising a car’s seat and seat back are imperative to creating a safer environment, no more so than when a car crash occurs.

Injuries Caused by Defective Seat Backs

A collapsing seat back can cause serious injuries to the person in the broken seat and to anybody sitting behind him or her. As a result, you may be entitled to such damages as:

  • Facial, head and spinal cord injuries a back seat occupant sustained
  • Back and neck injuries caused when the seat back fails to properly support you during the collision
  • A lifetime of medical care and assistance for children who suffered severe head and spinal injuries
  • Permanent disabilities, scars and disfigurement
  • Medical bills, rehabilitation and special care
  • Lost past and future earnings

Faulty Safety Equipment: Design and Manufacturing

Defects in a vehicle’s seat back can cause serious injuries during an accident, preventing seat belts and airbags from providing adequate protection and provoking head injuries, neck injuries, and spine injuries. While high speeds can prove to be a dangerous situation should seat backs fail, even low-speed accidents, where the mechanism holding a seat back up fails, can be fatal and life-altering.

The impact on the rear of a seat during a collision should cause manufacturers to ensure the safety of consumers by designing and manufacturing quality seat equipment that can withstand the force experienced during an accident.

A seat back that fails, not-withstanding the impact of a collision, can leave drivers struggling to reach the gas and brake pedals and severely impair the ability to see and react to additional impact. Just like airbags and seat belts protect drivers and passengers from the front, the seat backs in a vehicle are meant to protect and safeguard passengers in the back seat.

Equipment Affected By Faulty Seat Backs

In addition to affecting the way a seat belt operates and the protective efforts of airbags, faulty seat backs can also affect the safety of children strapped into safety equipment, like safety seats, car seats, and booster seats. A failed seat back can render child safety equipment useless.

Defective seat backs can fail drivers and passengers for a variety of reasons, from flimsy design to low-quality materials comprising such an important piece of equipment in vehicles. The failure of a seat back during a car accident can often throw occupants into the backseat region of the vehicle or provoke ejection by eliminating the stability that should be provided by a quality seat during a crash, collision or rollover accident.

When they fail, the back of a vehicle’s seats can collapse, greatly reducing the protection of seat belts and affecting other occupants in the rear of the vehicle. Without a secured seat belt, passengers and drivers whose seats have collapsed are at a greater risk for dangerous and fatal ejection from the vehicle.

Defective Seatbacks a Serious Risk to Children

Most states require special car seats for young children and recommend putting children under the age of 12 in the back seat. The reason for this position is that the tremendous force of front airbags can severely injure people with smaller frames.

In most cases, the back seat has been proven to be the safest place for properly restrained kids. However, a seat back failure can pose a significant risk of injury and death to children. A seat that collapses backward during the crash can land on a child sitting directly behind the driver or front seat passenger, with the adult’s full weight bearing down on the child.

Can A Seat Back Failure Be Prevented?

Regulators have known about seatback failures for decades. In 1992, NHTSA was warned by internal researchers that seats could collapse backward and kill or injure passengers. CBS News ran its own investigation using former court cases and discovered 17 children had died from seatback failures over the last 15 years. Auto engineers who participated in prior lawsuits have argued preventing seatback failures would cost one dollar per vehicle.

If strengthening car seats is inexpensive, then what are regulators waiting for? NHTSA continues to maintain that it lacks the data needed to institute new regulations on strengthening seats. Current regulations require front seats to withstand 3,300 pounds of pressure during an accident. In Europe, similar regulations require front seats to withstand 4,691 pounds of pressure.

Until automakers make changes that will prevent car seats from failing during rear-end collisions, this hazard will continue to put families at risk.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed because of seat back failure of a vehicle, which may have resulted in ejection or the loss of driver control over a vehicle, call our product liability lawyers located in Waco, Temple, Killeen and statewide Texas for a free consultation today.

Our experienced product liability lawyers, professional medical consultants, private investigative team and caring staff will help you uncover answers to some of the baffling questions associated with your accident while seeking just compensation for your injuries and loss. We care. We can help.

Back to Top