All vehicle passengers are encouraged to wear their seatbelts at all times, and in most cases, it's the law no matter if you're the driver or backseat passenger. However, not every person obeys these guidelines. Not only does not wearing a seatbelt increase the threat of injury in an accident, but it can also create issues with the processing of an accident claim.
Yes, the law states that passengers should wear their seatbelts. However, a violation of this law does not void your legal right to file a claim for an accident with the insurance company or representative of the responsible party.
If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and you were injured, don't hesitate to move forward and file a claim for your injuries. Seek medical attention as soon as possible to document your injuries and begin the claim filing process.
If you live in a state that exercises a practice known as comparative negligence, you might run into a hurdle with your injury claim. Seatbelts aren't fashion statements; they are essential safety tools that help minimize injuries when a vehicle is involved in a crash. Your failure to wear a seatbelt will often increase the level of injury you sustain.
Comparative negligence states distribute fault for injuries based on the actions of each driver involved in the accident. As a result, your percentage of responsibility for your injuries may increase due to your lack of wearing a seatbelt, and ultimately, decrease your reward amount.
The onus of safety rests on the shoulders of the driver of the vehicle in many instances. For this reason, if you were a passenger in someone else's car and you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, you might be able to escape some of the demands that come with comparative negligence.
For example, an attorney might be able to argue that the driver should not have driven the vehicle until you were buckled in. An attorney might even be able to bring forward an argument if your passenger seatbelt was not working correctly. Either way, an attorney can argue that you were not responsible for your injuries to reduce your percentage of comparative negligence in the incident.
Winning a claim for injuries when the victim was not wearing a seatbelt can be a challenge, but it is a case that an attorney can help you achieve success with. However, prompt action, cooperation, and a willingness to share this information with the attorney are essential. Contact attorneys like Cok Kinzler PLLP for assistance with your injury case.