Not Wearing a Seat Belt Can Affect Your Car Accident Claim

Buckling up is more than a slogan. It is a safer choice. Seat belts have saved more than 14,950 lives, according to statistics in 2017. As many as 2,500 lives could have been saved by wearing safety belts.

Florida law requires that all passengers and drivers of vehicles be wearing seatbelts. It is the law. There are many cases of car accidents where the driver failed to buckle up.

This could lead to more severe and potentially fatal injuries. Your St Pete personal injury case could also be negatively affected if you fail to buckle up.

What Is the Seat Belt Defense?

Sometimes victims of car accidents contribute to their injuries. This can happen in certain situations, even if it wasn’t intended.

If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time you were injured, the defendant may argue that you contributed partially to the accident. This is known as the “seat belt defense.”

Let’s suppose another car hits you. Medical attention, lost wages, pain and suffering can all add up to $100,000. To help pay these costs, you may decide to file a personal injury claim.

If the judge examines your case and finds that you were not wearing a seatbelt when the accident happened, they might reduce your compensation.

If you don’t buckle up, the judge may consider you partially responsible for your injuries.

This is known as “comparative fault” or “comparative negligence”.

Florida statute ยง 761.81 says that a plaintiff’s negligence does not prevent them from filing a lawsuit, but that it “diminishes proportionally the amount of compensation” they can receive.

Seat Belts Are a Personal Decision

In some cases, a seatbelt wouldn’t have made any difference in the severity of injuries or damage sustained. Some cases would have been completely different. Our St Pete injury lawyers can review your case and let you know if it will affect your personal injury claim. We will advocate for you to get the maximum compensation for your injuries.

This post was written by Kelly-Ann Jenkins of Jenkins Law P.L. Kelly-Ann is a St Pete car accident attorney. She focuses on personal injury, car accidents, and bicyclist injuries. The information on this site is not intended to and does not offer legal advice, legal recommendations, or legal representation on any matter. Hiring an attorney is an important decision, which should not be based on advertising. You need to consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your situation.

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