Car accidents can happen with little or no notice. To increase your chances of surviving one, it is critical to wear a seat belt every time you are in a motor vehicle. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, roughly half of those who died in car accidents in 2019 were not using seat belts.
If you have been in a serious motor vehicle accident, your seat belt may have left a dark bruise across your midsection. While some bruising may be normal, you must be certain you do not have seat belt syndrome.
What is seat belt syndrome?
Seat belt syndrome is not a specific injury, but rather the name doctors give to the many injuries seat belts cause during motor vehicle accidents. Depending on your injury, seat belt syndrome may be life-threatening or just painful.
The following symptoms may indicate seat belt syndrome:
- Abdominal swelling or soreness
- Skin discoloration
- Nausea, dizziness or vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Bloody urine or stools
How do doctors treat seat belt syndrome?
You may not be able to tell the difference between a superficial bruise and a serious medical condition. Consequently, if you believe there is even a slight chance you have seat belt syndrome, it is advisable to go to the emergency room immediately.
In the hospital, doctors may use a variety of tests and scans to gauge the extent of your injuries. Then, depending on their findings, doctors may recommend surgery, rehabilitation and other treatment methods.
Ultimately, while pursuing the correct diagnosis and treatment may be expensive, you are likely eligible for substantial financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident that caused your seatbelt syndrome.