Seatbelts save lives, there is no doubt about it. Did you know that something as simple as a seatbelt can affect your personal injury claim if you were injured in an auto accident?
Despite around 1.3 million people dying in road and auto accidents each year in the United States, a large majority of drivers and passengers do not wear seat belts. In Florida, an automobile’s front seat passengers must wear a seatbelt. Failure to do so will result in a fine of $30, while it is a $60 fine for a child not wearing a seatbelt.
How can a Seatbelt Affect a Personal Injury Auto Accident Claim?
If you are in an auto accident and you are not wearing a seatbelt, the injuries you endure can be incredibly severe. Injury may even be prevented entirely by wearing a seatbelt. That is why in Florida, it is the law to wear a seatbelt. When a court is determining a party’s liability in an auto accident case, it will consider whether or not that party was wearing a seatbelt during the time of the auto accident. The seatbelt will also be a factor in determining the number of damages and compensation a person can be awarded after an accident.
Because a person fails to wear a seatbelt, he or she may receive less compensation from the court in a personal injury case than if he or she had been wearing one. This is because, once again, the injuries may have been prevented by wearing the safety device.
Arguing Against Seatbelts
There are plenty of Americans who are against the seatbelt laws that states have enacted. Many of these people believe the choice to wear a seatbelt should be left up to each individual, as it is his or her life at risk, anyway. However, the same people who choose not to wear seatbelts still want compensation if they are injured in an auto accident.
Florida vs. the Other States
Florida is not like every other state in the country. For example, a driver who goes to Georgia and is in an accident may receive full compensation even if he or she was not wearing a seatbelt. Georgia does not allow seatbelt evidence to be admitted during a case, and therefore, it has no bearing on whether someone receives part or full compensation in a claim.
More and more states are attempting to get seatbelt laws on the books that would allow police to pull drivers over for not wearing one. Politicians believe that enforcing seatbelt laws would improve safety in a country in which people are constantly on the move in their automobiles.
Lulich & Attorneys
If you or a loved has been injured in an auto accident, Lulich & Attorneys can help. Visit our page on an auto accident to see how we can help you. Lulich & Attorneys can help you with all your personal injury law needs.