Even though your car’s seat belt may seem somewhat restricting, wearing it is one of the more effective ways to survive a crash. Indeed, according to the National Safety Council, simply putting on your seat belt reduces your chances of dying in a car accident by 45%.
If you are traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of an accident, your seat belt also may bruise your midsection. In fact, it is not rare for accident survivors to have belt-shaped bruises on their torsos. These bruises usually are not worrisome, but there are exceptions.
Regular seat belt syndrome
When you arrive at the emergency room after a crash, doctors should perform a full examination. If you have a bruised midsection, you are likely to receive a seat belt syndrome diagnosis. This is a catch-all term for all belt-associated injuries. Luckily, without complications, seat belt syndrome typically is not serious.
Complicated seat belt syndrome
Regrettably, your belt-shaped bruise may be the least of your worries. That is, a bruised midsection can indicate potentially life-threatening problems, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. It can also mean you have soft-tissue injuries, like whiplash or ligament damage. If you have any of these complications, you are likely to require immediate and ongoing medical care.
Rather than worrying about your chances of making a full recovery, you should entrust your diagnosis and treatment to qualified medical professionals. Ultimately, you may eligible for financial compensation to help you pay for the high costs of medical care.