Failure to Wear a Seat Belt May Affect Your Car Accident Claim
Seat belts are well known for saving lives. Many people are unaware that whether or not a driver or passenger was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident can have an impact on the outcome of an accident claim.
Even if the accident was not your fault, if you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the crash, you may have difficulty getting compensation.
Cunnane Law, a personal injury law firm in Washington, wants to help you understand how not wearing a seatbelt can affect your accident claim. You can also contact us for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your claim.
Ramifications of Not Wearing Your Seatbelt in a Car Accident
The severity of a victim’s injuries is one of the most serious consequences of not wearing a seatbelt at the time of an accident. Those who survive a serious accident while not wearing a seatbelt are more likely to sustain severe injuries, which may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
Due to contributory negligence and comparative fault rules, not wearing a seatbelt may influence your ability to seek compensation from the at-fault motorist, as well as the amount of compensation you may be able to recover.
Contributory Negligence and Comparative Fault in Washington
“Contributory negligence” and “comparative fault” are terms that dictate how a personal injury claim will be affected if an accident victim acted in a negligent way that contributed to the accident.
Washington is one of only a few states that still allows contributory negligence. A victim is barred from receiving compensation under a contributory negligence system if they are found to be even slightly to blame for the circumstances of a car accident. If a victim was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, the contributory negligence rule in Washington can make recovering compensation extremely difficult. Insurers or defendants can argue that the victim’s injuries were exacerbated by their failure to wear a seatbelt and that they should have mitigated the risk by wearing a seatbelt. This may be enough to prevent a person from receiving compensation for their injuries.
Because these are complicated legal issues, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn how these rules may affect your case.
Contact Cunnane Law Offices Today to Learn More
In most cases, not wearing a seatbelt at the time of an accident does not exclude you from receiving compensation. However, it can make your claim much more difficult to prove.
If you were not wearing a seatbelt when you were in an accident, contact the legal team at Cunnane Law right away. We can review your case and assist you in determining your legal options. Don’t give up on getting the compensation you deserve. Make an appointment for a free consultation right away.
Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.