Most people are unaware that an automobile seat is an integral part of a car's safety system. Seats provide the foundation for the occupant restraint system which includes the seatbelts, airbags and head restraints. A seat that fails to hold a passenger in a proper position during a crash can have devastating results.
In rear impacts, seats should be designed to aid a persons body in safely riding down the forces of a crash. That means it should have an adequate headrest to avoid whiplash type injuries and the seatback should hold in place. However, some vehicles are sold with inadequate head restraints and passengers have been tragically injured when their seat backs collapsed rearward during an accident.
Seatback failures or collapses can result in catastrophic head, neck and back injuries to the people sitting in the collapsing seat, but the passengers in the rear seats are also in serious danger from a collapsing front seat. In some cases, the unfortunate victims of collapsing front seats are children who are often riding in child car seats in the rear. The collapsing front seat back or the front seated passenger's head can impact the rear seated passenger.
In some vehicles, rear seats serve as a barrier between the trunk or hatch area and the passenger compartment. Rear seats are often sold in a split-seat fold down configuration so that the seats can fold down so that larger items can be placed in the vehicle. The designs of some of these rear seat set-ups are so poor that they can become literally unhinged during a crash allowing contents of the trunk or hatch to be thrown into the passenger compartment, injuring the people seated there. Cargo retention defects - as they are called - are becoming more frequent as the population of hatchbacks and split fold down seats increases.
If you have been seriously injured due to seatback failure, please contact Blume Forte at (973) 635-5400 today to speak with a skilled auto product liability attorney in New Jersey.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.