Not wearing a seat belt does not mean that you will not be compensated for your injuries. In many cases, you can still start an accident claim even if you were not wearing a seat belt.
If you have been injured as a passenger or a driver of a vehicle in the Los Angeles area and you were not wearing a seat belt it is especially important that you speak to an experienced car accident lawyer.
In the event that you were not wearing your seat belt the insurance company may argue that your injuries could have been lessened or avoided and may even blame your for the cause of your injuries.
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Seat Belt Defense
Defendants who successfully use the seat belt defense will limit the plaintiff’s recovery to injuries which they would have received if they were buckled up. However, seat belts do not prevent negligence or car accidents. Just because you were not wearing a seat belt – this doesn’t become an automatic defense for the responsible party to not pay out for any damages. Insurers or responsible parties must prove which injuries you may have avoided if you had indeed been wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. To accomplish this, collision and accident experts and investigators may be hired to calculate how an injury may (or may not) have occurred.
California is a comparative fault state. This means that there may be a reduction in plaintiff’s damages if they were not wearing a seat belt. This means if you were going to receive $200,000 for an injury and you were found to be 10% responsible for the injury the amount recovered would be $180,000.
If you have been injured as a passenger and the negligent party was the driver of the vehicle you were in, the driver was in violation of California law. California vehicle code states that drivers must not operate their vehicle unless their passengers are buckled.
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Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.