The law mainly supports the assertion that you should be wearing a seatbelt each and every time you are driving your car and that is perfectly understandable when you see the statistics that show how many lives are saved by buckling up.
A momentary lapse of concentration on a short journey when you forget to put on your seatbelt or even a decision not to wear one puts your life at greater risk and might even jeopardize your chances of claiming compensation, or so you would think.
However, some highly-rated car accident lawyers may be able to resolve this challenging and complex scenario, despite the fact that you have had an accident while not wearing a seatbelt.
The consequences of failing to wear a seatbelt
If you were not wearing a seatbelt when the state laws say that it is a legal requirement you can expect to receive a ticket and a fine but your negligence to observe the laws and properly protect yourself might also have an impact on the level of compensation you are subsequently awarded.
When you talk to a lawyer about this subject they will probably tell you that there is a legal defense that may be used in these circumstances where a defendant might attempt to claim that you contributed to your own injuries as a result of your negligence in not wearing a seatbelt.
Depending on which state you had the accident in it is perfectly feasible that your lawyer may be able to successfully argue that your failure to wear a seatbelt does not constitute evidence of negligence.
If the defendant is not allowed to use this legal argument it means that not only will you be able to make a claim for compensation even if you were not wearing a seatbelt you should also not be subjected to a lower level of compensation when an award is made.
There is no doubt that not wearing a seatbelt complicates the issue when it comes to claiming compensation and that is another good reason why it makes sense to get legal guidance when you are preparing to make a claim.
Your lawyer may well talk to you about mitigation in these circumstances and what this means that general civil law principles dictate that each victim has a legal responsibility to try and avoid or reduce their damages.
You can expect to see some states apply this legal principle in cases where the victim was found to be not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. However, it is feasible that your lawyer may be able to argue that your conduct before the accident occurred should not be taken into account.
The obvious point here is that failure to wear a seatbelt puts you at greater risk of suffering more significant injuries in a collision and could make your compensation claim more complicated, but your failure to buckle up shouldn’t prevent you from making a claim after a car accident.