Recovering Damages if You Weren’t Wearing a Seatbelt at the Time of the Accident

Wearing a seatbelt while you’re in a moving vehicle is not only the safe and smart thing to do, but it’s the law. California legally requires that all drivers and passengers wear seat belts while driving or traveling in a motor vehicle.

Imagine a scenario where you hopped in your car to make a short trip around the block to the corner store and another driver rear-ends your vehicle at a stop sign. You weren’t wearing your seatbelt, so the impact caused you to hit the steering wheel and the windshield. 

You’re banged up and bruised and possibly have a concussion. You end up in the hospital with injuries and medical bills. Because you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, the at-fault party says your injuries are your responsibility, not theirs. How do you know your options for seeking compensation?

The truth is, you can still file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver even if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident. Finding an experienced bay area car injury lawyer is the first step to getting the compensation you deserve for your medical bills and property damage.

When You Can File a Car Accident Claim Even if You Weren’t Wearing a Seatbelt

Not wearing a seatbelt, albeit very dangerous, didn’t cause your accident. If your auto accident attorney can prove that someone else caused the accident either through an intentional act or by negligence and the accident was a direct cause of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.

Not Wearing a Seatbelt Could Result in a Loss of Compensation

If the accident was found to be caused by another driver, even if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you could have a successful personal injury and property damage claim. However, some states look at comparative negligence, which means you could be responsible for injuries because you didn’t wear a seatbelt.

For example, the at-fault driver could argue that you are responsible for any injuries you received because of the seatbelt defense, which argues that they are not responsible for any injuries that would have been avoided if you had been wearing your safety restraint, resulting in a lower settlement to cover your damages.

Seek Legal Representation to Maximize Your Settlement

Contacting a knowledgeable automobile accident attorney after your accident will help to ensure that you receive the money to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and lost earning potential. A lawyer can make sure your case is thoroughly investigated and bring a court verdict in your favor.

Avoid Injuries and Fines by Wearing Your Seatbelt

Remember, wearing a seatbelt is the law. You can avoid costly fines and injuries if you and your passengers always buckle up, even on short trips. Seatbelts save thousands of lives every year and reduce your chances of getting hurt in an accident by over 50% and reduce car crash fatalities by over 45%. 

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