What If You Are Not Wearing A Seatbelt In A Car Accident?

Negligence in a car accident is a pretty straightforward concept. If you get into an incident where injuries are sustained, and it’s clear that the other driver was at fault for causing the accident in the first place, you have every right to sue that other driver. Someone causing you to become injured through their own drunkenness, distracted driving, or inattention is not your responsibility. Therefore, the cost to you of medical treatment, or subsequent loss of income or limb use should not be your responsibility either.

However, things in the realm of auto accidents aren’t always simple. This is especially true if certain facts come to light, such as a person who is injured not wearing a seat belt. In the event that you are in accident, and someone else is clearly at fault for causing the accident, BUT you were not wearing a seatbelt, how does this affect a personal injury case?

Seatbelt Law In Florida

First, the important thing to consider is whether or not you are violation of traffic law. In Florida, seatbelt laws are simple. Anyone sitting in the front seats is required by law to wear a seatbelt. The second law is that anyone under the age of 18 must wear a seatbelt. This means that if you are an adult in the rear passenger seat of a car and aren’t wearing seatbelts, you are not in violation of the law, and therefore not subject to a ticket.

However, beyond the legal requirements of seatbelt law, there is the practical safety consideration. Seatbelts have, time and again, been statistically proven to dramatically reduce the seriousness of injuries sustained in car accidents. Seatbelts are often responsible for allowing people to be firmly restrained in the car, rather than being ejected out the windshield, sustaining injuries from both the windshield impact, as well as hitting and rolling on the ground.

Legal Complications

If you sustain serious injuries because of a car accident, that is one matter. If you sustain serious injuries in a car accident that could have been easily prevented had you worn a seatbelt, but you chose not to, this changes the nature of a case.

Florida law, especially where it pertains to personal injury, has a condition known as “comparative negligence.” This means that in some cases, the blame for the final consequences of an incident cannot be 100% laid at the feet of one party, and that others may share some of the responsibility.

This may be the case in instances where a severe injury is the direct result of a lack of seat belt restraint. For example, in an accident where someone suffers from cuts, broken bones, and even disfigurement as a result of being thrown from a car, impacting with the windshield and impacting with the ground and trees, there will be some comparative negligence at work. This would be especially true if others in the vehicle were wearing seatbelts and did not sustain the same level of injury as the person that wasn’t.

This doesn’t meant that you can’t pursue a personal injury case. If you’re in an accident, a lawyer for car crash can play a vital role in getting you financial compensation, but the amount of compensation you may be due could be reduced due to the choice to not wear a seatbelt as a safety measure..