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Seat belts reduce risk for serious liver injuries

Every year in the US, car accidents send more than 2 million people to emergency rooms. Tens of thousands die in them, costing the health care system over $1 trillion on average. Drivers in California should be aware that one of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents are liver injuries and that seat belt use can reduce their severity, perhaps even preventing a fatality.

This is the conclusion of a recent study from researchers at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn. They analyzed the National Trauma Data Bank and studied crash statistics from the years 2010 to 2015, finding that a total of 51,202 cases could be measured in terms of injury severity. Out of the 15 percent of accident victims who sustained severe liver injuries, 15 percent of them died. Eight percent died of the people who had mild or moderate injuries died.

Wearing a seat belt, though, reduced the risk for a severe liver injury by 21 percent. When combined with airbags, that number went up to 26 percent. Airbags alone did not affect the injury severity; both devices depend on each other.

Liver and spleen injuries are frequent outcomes of internal abdominal trauma. The problem with liver injuries is that they cannot be treated by surgical removal of the organ as with spleen injuries. This is why preventing such trauma is so important.

When someone becomes injured in an auto accident because of the other driver, he or she could consult with Costa Mesa auto accident injury lawyers about filing a third-party insurance claim. An attorney will first evaluate the case for contributory negligence. If the victim, for example, neglected to wear a seat belt, the potential amount he or she could receive will be lowered. The case may also be harder to negotiate, but the lawyer could always help the victim litigate or mount an appeal as a last resort.

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