New Mexico residents who neglect to wear a seatbelt when driving will want to know about a new study showing one of the innumerable benefits to seatbelt use. Researchers from NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn analyzed crash data from the National Trauma Data Bank, focusing on the years 2010 to 2015 and looking at patients who suffered from liver injuries. They found that those who wore seatbelts reduced their risk for severe liver injuries by 21 percent.

Even better, their risk went down by 26 percent when seatbelt use was combined with functional airbags. Researchers were able to measure 51,202 cases for injury severity, finding that 15 patients suffered from severe liver injury. 15 percent of those patients died, compared to 8 percent of patients with mild or moderate liver injuries. Researchers are clear in pointing out that seatbelts do not necessarily prevent liver injuries.

However, this is still good news, considering how car accidents send over 2 million people to the emergency room every year in America. When accidents result in internal abdominal trauma, liver injuries can be the most deadly outcome. The symptoms of severe injuries include deep lacerations and ruptured blood clots, and these require immediate treatment. Liver injuries cannot be treated with a surgical removal of the damaged organ, as in the case of severe spleen injuries.

Those who incur liver injuries in a car wreck may benefit from hiring a legal professional to assist with their claim. Accident attorneys may decide to hire investigators to find proof of the defendant’s negligence as well as medical experts to determine the extent of the injuries. They may then calculate a fair settlement and either negotiate for it with the auto insurance company or proceed to litigation. If the victim contributed to the accident by failing to wear a seatbelt, the settlement might be lowered accordingly.