Does it hurt your personal injury case if you weren’t wearing a seat belt?
It’s a law that you need to wear your seat belt when you’re driving or riding in a vehicle, but like anyone else, it’s possible that you got in and made the mistake of not wearing it. Maybe it was uncomfortable. Perhaps you took it off for just a few seconds to readjust. Whatever the reason was, it’s normal and happens.
Unfortunately, if you’re hit by another driver when you aren’t wearing a seat belt, then you could suffer much more significant injuries. Not wearing your seat belt may also have a negative effect on your personal injury claim if the injuries could have been avoided by wearing one.
Not wearing your seat belt hurts your case
Not wearing your seat belt does have the potential to hurt your personal injury case. This is not because failing to wear your seat belt was against the law. Instead, it’s because the injuries that you suffered may have been worse as a result of failing to wear the belt.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t file a personal injury claim, though. Regardless of whether you were wearing a seat belt or not, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt if the other person hadn’t hit you. It is their responsibility to compensate you for your injuries if they were the one who caused the crash.
That being said, the judge in your case may disagree with giving you as much compensation as you want, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if you’re seeking out $100,000 in compensation to cover lost wages and other losses, the judge may reduce that award because you were partially at fault for your own injuries by failing to wear your belt.
Every case is different when it comes to the use of seat belts. In some cases, wearing a belt wouldn’t have changed the outcome at all. In others, it would have made a significant difference. Your attorney will review the case to let you know if this will hurt your personal injury claim. No matter what, they’ll still fight to get you as much compensation as possible to cover your losses.
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