LAS VEGAS, Nevada. According to Consumer Reports, as many as 25 million people, or 11.5% of drivers, don’t wear their seat belt. Not wearing your seat belt can lead to greater injuries in the event of a car accident, and even fatality. The evidence supporting the benefits of seat belt use are great. Statistically, individuals who don’t wear seat belts are twice as likely to die in a crash. The consequences of failing to wear a seat belt go beyond personal injury and death. They impact auto insurance rates, use of public medical services, and in some cases, lead to disability. Yet, if you’ve been in a car accident due to another driver’s neglect or negligence, and you forget to wear your seat belt, could your failure to do so limit your ability to seek a recovery from the driver responsible for your accident?
Personal injury lawyers, such as the attorneys at the Chappell Law Group see car accident cases where individuals either failed to wear their seat belt or helmet. In cases where a person was injured in a car accident, one of the first things your lawyer will consider was whether your failure to wear a seatbelt resulted in the car accident. In almost all cases, not wearing a seat belt doesn’t result in the accident itself. However, the courts may ask whether you could have reasonably avoided consequences by wearing a seat belt.
The “seat belt defense” involves the question of whether a person should be able to collect the full amount of damages if he or she failed to wear a seat belt. Despite the fact that this issue arises often, courts tend to be split. In most cases, courts will rule in favor of the injured party because the decision to wear or not wear a seat belt occurred before the tort and damages took place. After all, there is no way for an individual to know before an accident occurs that an accident will take place. However, some courts may use seat belt laws to find that the seat belt could have mitigated damages. At the end of the day, the case may hinge on the quality of your personal injury lawyer’s argument.
In some cases and states, failure to wear a seat belt can be interpreted as negligence. In personal injury cases, it is important to determine negligence. In Nevada, individuals can only seek damages if the other party is 51% or more at fault for the accident.
At the end of the day, you should always buckle up. And, make sure back seat passengers are buckled up as well. The macabre reality is that unrestrained backseat passengers can become projectiles in the event of an accident. If you have been involved in a crash due to another person’s negligence or failure to follow the rules of the road, a personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights. Visit https://www.attorneychappell.com today to learn more.