Most automobile accidents are not fatal, but they can still result in serious and grievous injuries that are painful to deal with. When it comes to making a claim for injuries suffered in an auto accident, you want to ensure that you get the highest settlement possible. However, there are certain factors in auto accident claims which have to be taken into account.
One of the biggest points of contention is the use, or failure to use, a seatbelt. Despite laws requiring the use of seatbelts, many people fail to use them. The failure to use a seatbelt can cause or contribute to injuries and can result in harm to a potential personal injury claim.
Makes it Difficult to Determine Fault For Injuries
Not wearing a seat belt can make it very difficult to determine where the true fault for the injuries lies. Based on how the accident happened, fault can be shared between all of the parties to the accident. Even if the defendant is found to have caused the accident, a jury can also find the plaintiff at fault if they weren’t wearing a seatbelt and the failure to wear the seatbelt was found to have caused or contributed to the injury. In some states, if the fault is shared 50%/50%, there won’t be any legal compensation made. Not wearing a seat belt could also be the real reason why the person experienced such major injuries from an accident that may have been harmless otherwise.
Mandated by Law
Wearing seatbelts is mandated by law in almost all states and not wearing one can not only make it difficult to file a claim, it might also mean that you end up having to pay a fine for not wearing one. In some cases, there might even be some other punishment to deal with, too. State laws play a huge role in determining the penalties that a person has to pay for not wearing a seatbelt, and each state has a different set of laws dealing with this.
Can Make Your Insurance Claims Ineligible
Insurance companies can be notoriously difficult when it comes to claims for injuries from an automobile accident. In some instances, the fact that you weren’t wearing a seat belt, despite being legally obligated to wear one, can work against you. The incident can be viewed as a preconceived attempt to self-harm in the hopes of getting compensation. This might make you ineligible to receive compensation or might cause you to receive a smaller amount than what you might have otherwise been entitled to receive.
The Exception to the Rule
In some instances, not wearing a seat belt can be less important if evidence can be provided to show that the injuries suffered would not have been avoidable even with the help a seatbelt. While you won’t be able to side avoid any legal fines for not wearing a seatbelt, you will still be eligible to receive the full amount of compensation you are otherwise entitled to receive. In such instances, it is always best to seek legal advice from a seasoned personal injury attorney such as the such as the Personal Injury Lawyer to understand what kind of outcome you can expect.
The legal firm of Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. has successfully represented many auto accident cases. Our attorneys are here to help. Contact Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. today for a free initial consultation.