Despite some significant enhancements in vehicle safety in recent decades, car accidents continue to be responsible for millions of injuries every single year. Wearing your seat belt is one of the more effective ways to stay safe during a crash.
In fact, according to statistics from The Zebra, seat belt usage cuts your risk of suffering a moderate or severe injury by as much as half. Still, in an accident, your seat belt can cause you to develop seat belt syndrome. The condition may be minor or even life-threatening.
What is seat belt syndrome?
Rather than representing a single injury, seat belt syndrome describes a host of belt-associated injuries you might suffer in a car accident. These injuries might be skin-deep, such as minor bruising, or catastrophic, like broken bones, internal bleeding or organ damage.
When should you see a doctor?
Because your body is full of adrenaline and other stress hormones during and immediately after a car accident, it can be difficult to know whether you have suffered an injury. Consequently, it is always a good idea to go to the emergency room for evaluation even if you think you are fine.
How long will your recovery be?
Your prognosis and the length of your recovery from seat belt syndrome depend on a few factors, including your general health and the extent of your belt-related injury. If you only have a bruise, you might see an improvement quickly. If you have more serious injuries, though, you may spend days or even weeks in the hospital.
Ultimately, to help you pay for the medical care and rehabilitation you might need, it can be beneficial to pursue financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident.