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Study confirms belief that seatbelts lessen liver injury severity

It has long been held by safety experts in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. that seat belt use can lessen the severity of motor vehicle crash injuries. Now, researchers at the NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn have confirmed this belief with regard to liver injuries.

Blunt abdominal trauma is a frequent cause of auto accident injuries, and the liver is among the most frequently injured organs. In severe cases of liver injury, individuals may experience uncontrolled blood loss through deep lacerations and ruptured clots. Trauma can also result in complications like bile leakage and the obstruction of bile flow.

Researchers analyzed over 52,200 liver injury cases spanning the years 2010 to 2015 and involving only vehicle crashes. The cases were recorded in the National Trauma Data Bank. Approximately 15 percent of patients were classified as having severe injuries. Out of those patients, 15 percent died, and 8 percent of patients with mild or moderate liver injuries died.

Those who wore seat belts were 21 percent less likely to suffer severe liver injuries. Seat belts and airbags together lower those chances by 26 percent. Since the two depend on each other, airbags alone are not effective.

Motor vehicle crashes are behind more than 2 million emergency room visits every year in the U.S. They cost the healthcare system nearly $1 trillion and lead to tens of thousands of fatalities.

Those who are injured in a car accident and who believe they can file an injury claim may want to see a lawyer. They may be eligible for compensation as long as they were less at fault than the other driver. Seat belt neglect is just one factor that could tell against the plaintiff. A lawyer may be able to negotiate for the maximum settlement possible, and if the auto insurance company refuses to pay out, the lawyer might advise for litigation.