How Seat Back Failures Cause Death & Paralysis in Car Crashes

Todd Tracy, car accident attorney and auto safety expert, shows how the failure of the seat back my be grounds for an auto accident lawsuit against the carmaker if occupants receive catastrophic injury or they are killed.

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The seat is the most important part of a vehicle safety system and here’s why.

I want you to think about this. In a rear impact, what direction does the restrained occupant go? If you say that it goes forward, then you’re wrong. In a rear impact accident, the occupant actually goes rearward and the primary restraint system in a rear impact accident is the seat.

So what happens to the occupant if the seat collapses? It’s quite catastrophic actually. For example, in this particular accident, this was a 20-mile an hour accident. The driver was properly restrained wearing their seatbelt. The seat was upright. However in the crash, the crash forces caused the seat to actually collapse. The restrained occupant’s body went backwards. Their heads slammed into the rear seat area here and they’re now quadriplegic.

So what is the purpose of a seat? The purpose of a seat is really threefold. Number one, keep upright so that the restraint system of the seat and the seatbelt can do its job. Number two, to keep you upright so that in the event of a frontal accident, your body is nominally positioned upright and lastly in the event of a side impact, you want the seat to stay upright to help deflect some of the forces coming in as the side structure crushes in on you. The seat, probably the most important safety system in a vehicle today.


If you, a family member, or friend have suffered a traumatic car accident injury or they were killed in an auto accident, there may be grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the car maker. The victim’s or family members of the deceased person may be entitled to significantly more money in damages than just a negligence case about the cause of the accident.

The Tracy Law Firm focuses on “Who Caused The Traumatic Car Accident Injuries or Death” — not who caused the accident.

Whether you were at fault or not in the cause of the accident, car companies are required by federal motor vehicle safety standards to make vehicles that will protect the driver and passengers from catastrophic injuries or death.

Contact Todd Tracy directly to request a complimentary catastrophic accident case review at the Vehicle Safety Firm.

Or call the Tracy Firm for a consultation at 214-324-9000.

The Tracy Law Firm is a nationwide law practice dedicated to making cars safer for the public.

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