The Harding Law Firm News

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help–As long As Your Seatbelt Was Fastened

Harding Law Firm - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
There are seatbelt laws that are put in place to help protect drivers and passengers from death or serious injury in automobile accidents. Personal injury lawyers are there to help you when an unfortunate accident occurs. But to help you, you have to help them. This means keeping your seat belt buckled at all times when you're in the car. You're doing yourself a great disservice and putting yourself in danger if you don't. In 33 states, law enforcement authorities have the right to stop vehicles with drivers that have not put on their seatbelts. Safety belts can affect traffic violation charges and also civil suits.

The law requires all front seat occupants to wear the seatbelt regardless of age. If the front seat passenger is under the age of 16, the driver has to take responsibility and make sure they are fastened in their seats. For rear seat passengers, all under age 16 must be restrained with seatbelts. If you met these requirements, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against an automotive company, or any other party involved with the accident.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit Could Work In Your Favor If You Used A Seatbelt

If you are injured in a car accident, you need to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer, and soon. However, the court can deny you the full amount of compensation if you were involved in an automobile accident without your seatbelt. In order to help you, your lawyer needs to base your personal injury lawsuit on the fact that you were indeed buckled up. The law varies in different states but typically, the reduction is limited to injuries that could have been prevented by the use of seatbelts. For example, if injuries were pertaining to contact with the torso or head to the dashboard, these could have been prevented by fastening yourself with the seatbelt. Preventable injuries will then get deducted. This deduction will, however, not exceed the fixed percentage of damages.

Most states have mandatory seatbelt laws. Even though most of the injuries in vehicular accidents are pointed at the failure to buckle up properly, this might not always be the case. The seatbelt might not have factored in at all. Insurance companies along with defense lawyers will put the blame of injuries on driving without being restrained by the seatbelt while you know that the injuries could have been just as bad or maybe even worse had you been wearing the seatbelt. You will need experts to prove this, and your personal injury lawyer can help you.

The defense in a personal injury lawsuit must comply with these rules before proceeding with seatbelt-related charges:

•    They must inform the court and the injured person beforehand that they will be using this defense.

•    They must prove, with expert opinion, how wearing a seatbelt could have prevented or reduced the person’s specific injuries.

If you want more information about the implications of not wearing seatbelts in an accident, talk to our personal injury lawyer, Charles Harding. Contact the Harding Law Firm today to find out whether or not you should file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. Call 518-384-3400 to book a free consultation today!