How Not Wearing a Seat Belt Affects Your Personal Injury Claim
In 1968 a new federal law went into effect requiring all vehicles to come equipped with seat belts. From that point on, seatbelts have been a safety feature that comes standard on every single automobile. The benefits of wearing a seat belt are so numerous, in fact, that most states have made neglecting to wear one an offense worthy of at least a ticket, a fine, and a shaming lecture.
If you chose to forego your seat belt while you are in a car and are involved in a car accident in California, you run the risk of sustaining more numerous and serious injuries than you otherwise might. You increase the amount of risk not only to yourself but the other occupants of your vehicle as well. If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, can you still sue for damages if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt? Should you still hire a personal injury attorney to ensure you receive compensation?
California Seatbelt Laws
California law requires all occupants of a vehicle to be restrained by a seat belt. This means back seat passengers and front seat passengers, as well as drivers. The same law also states that if all occupants of the vehicle are not restrained by a seat belt, then the driver is not legally allowed to operate the vehicle.
California Comparative Fault Laws
California law also allows for a personal injury lawsuit to be brought against any negligent party even if the injured party was not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the car accident. Being a comparative fault state rather than a contributory negligence state means that means that the misuse of a seat belt does not bar any claim for injuries.
If you take your case all the way to trial, the assigned jury is permitted to review what injuries could have been avoided and which injuries would have been less significant had the injured party been wearing a seat belt. In order to obtain this medical information, the negligent party will be responsible for hiring experts to act as expert witnesses. After they have revealed their findings, the jury may then consider the information that has been presented to them.
Can You Win Compensation in a Car Accident Case if You Weren’t Wearing Your Seatbelt?
If you have been injured in a car accident in which another driver was proven to be negligent, California law says that you might still be entitled to damages regardless of if you were wearing your seat belt. Retaining the services of an aggressive and diligent personal injury attorney can be the difference between getting the settlement for your losses to which you are entitled and having to pay for all of your expenses, medical and otherwise, completely out of pocket.
Los Angeles Personal Injury and Car Crash Attorney
If you have been involved in a car accident in the Los Angeles area, whether or not a lack of seat belt was an issue, you need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Here at the Los Angeles Injury Group our attorneys are prepared to respond aggressively to your claim and to see to it that you get the full amount that you deserve for your damages. If you would like to discuss your case with one to our lawyers, then please reach out to us at (310) 954-7248 today.