While you may not think that a seatback can be dangerous in an automobile accident, malfunctions can cause serious injuries. Seatback failure occurs when a seatback collapse in a rearward direction.

One of the most common injuries is suffered in car accident with a defective or broken seatback. Car manufacturers usually overlook the safety of seats and design them in a defective way which can result in severe injuries if there was a rear-end collision. 

Car manufacturers who design a seatback that ends up being defective and causes injuries to passengers can be held strictly liable for the defective design. This means that the car manufacturer can be held liable for any harm resulting from certain activities without any fault or negligence since they created a seatback that was dangerous.

How Does Seatback Failure Increase the Odds of Being Thrown from the Car?

When the seatback fails, it falls back toward the rear of the car.  In this position, it can act as a ramp that allows a passenger to fly out of the back window or an open back door. Even if a passenger is not thrown from the car, it nay be possible for the passenger to be thrown within the car that also can result in catastrophic or serious injury.

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What Types of Injuries Are Common With Seatback Failures?

Seatback failures are dangerous to all passengers of front and back seats of the car. The seatback defects usually can result in catastrophic injuries and even death because of the sudden blunt force to a person’s head or body.

The front seat passenger could be thrown backwards into the rear seat that can result into spinal injuries and paralysis. Many seatback failures injure children passengers since they weigh less and can be easily thrown out or around inside the vehicle due to a seatback failure during an accident. Common seatback injuries include:

  • Spinal injuries caused by the passenger being thrown violently into other objects or into the rear seat after the seatback fails
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Head and Brain Injuries because of the sudden blunt force to a person’s head
  • Death from a seat being thrown at them

What Claims Do I Have for Seatbacks Failure?

If you have suffered injuries because of a defective seatback after a car accident, you can bring a automotive products liability claim against the manufacturer who designed the seatback.

When you bring a products liability against a manufacturer, you do not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligence when designing the seat, but rather that the seatback was designed in a defective way that caused your injuries. 

A manufacturer’s liability for a design defect for a seatback occurs when the design of the seat causes a foreseeable risk of injury when the product was manufactured as intended and used for its intended purpose.

What Do I Need to Prove in a Seatbacks Failure Claim?

The plaintiff does not have to prove negligence in a seatback failure claim, but rather defective design. If a plaintiff wants to prove that there was a defect in design in the seatback that caused their injuries, the plaintiff has the burden to show:

  1. The manufacturer designed the seatback as intended;
  2. The design of the seatback is dangerous for its intended use;
  3. There was an alternative design that would have made the seatback much safer;
  4. The cost of making a safer design for the seatback would not cost too much;
  5. With the safer modification, the seatback would have performed in the same manner for which it was intended to perform; and
  6. The plaintiff was injured or suffered loss when using the seatback as it was intended.

In other words, the plaintiff must prove that making a safer way to design the seatback and it was not expensive to make and the alternative design of the seatback would have performed in the same manner as the manufacturer intended for it to perform.

Should I Consult a Lawyer?

Design defect lawsuits for seatback failures and injuries can often be complicated and typically require the expert opinion of a lawyer. You may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need assistance in filing a design defect lawsuit. 

A personal injury can provide you with the legal advice necessary to help you obtain the appropriate legal remedy and try to get the most compensation necessary for your injuries and losses.