Did you know that your decision on whether to use a seat belt can significantly impact your personal injury claim if you are injured in an accident? This surprising fact is true even when the other party clearly caused the accident.
Choosing not to wear a seat belt significantly increases the risk that you will experience serious injuries or even death in the event of a traffic collision. Furthermore, you will be considered partially responsible for the seriousness of the injuries that result. This is known as comparative negligence.
Comparative negligence laws look at what (if any) role you played in the accident and then determine what percentage of the fault you are responsible for. For example, if a drunk driver is responsible for hitting you and you are thrown from the vehicle because you aren’t wearing a seat belt, you would be considered partially responsible for your injuries as you failed to restrain yourself with a seat belt.
As a result, your total financial reward would be reduced based on the fact that you wouldn’t have been ejected from the vehicle otherwise. Being thrown from a vehicle often results in catastrophic brain and spine injuries, and this reduction to your compensation could make it harder to afford the care you need.
If you have been injured in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries you sustained. Even if you believe you might have been partially responsible because you weren’t wearing a seat belt, you should consult an attorney to find out how your case will be affected.
Call the Law Office of Joel H. Schwartz at 1-800-660-2270 or complete the form on our website to get started.