Seat belts save thousands of people every year in car accidents. But sometimes they can contribute to the severity of an injury.
How to Identify Seat Belt Injuries
Seat belt injuries may not be apparent after an accident. Symptoms of seat belt injuries may not appear for several days after a crash. You may have a seat belt injury, if you experience any of the symptoms below:
- Pressure from a lap belt can cause internal organs to become compressed, causing damage to the urinary tract or bladder.
- Blood in urine or stools can be sign of bladder or urinary tract damage.
- Seat belt trauma can cause endometriosis or colon obstruction, according to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
- Symptoms of these ailments include bleeding and constipation.
Weakness to the lower extremities can be the result of lower back or abdomen damage. Victims may experience weakness in one or both legs. General weakness or dizziness can also be a sign of internal damage from a seat belt injury.
Auto accidents victims should consult with a medical professional if they experience any of these symptoms.
Upper Body Injuries Due to Seat Belts
Occasionally, passengers will suffer damage to their chest from the seat belt force. Damage to the lungs, chest or heart can make it difficult for the accident victim to breathe.
Whiplash injuries are a common type of seat belt injury. Whiplash can cause increasing stiffness to the neck and can also be an indicator of a spinal cord injury.
Seat belts can also damage the kidneys in a car wreck. Pain between the hips and ribs can be a sign of kidney damage. It’s imperative for patients to receive immediate treatment for kidney damage. If the injury goes untreated it can cause delayed bleeding, infections and organ failure.