What is the Seatbelt Defense and How Can It Impact Your Personal Injury Claim?Most likely, you are already aware that seatbelts save lives. Many studies have shown that securely fastened seatbelts can cut the risk of moderate to catastrophic injuries in drivers and front seat passengers by up to 50%. Passengers in the backseat can cut their chance of harm by more than 80%.

Unfortunately, many people still enter cars without wearing seatbelts. If you have this dangerous habit, you’re putting more than just your own safety in danger. Additionally, you run the danger of losing the right to get full and appropriate compensation for any harm you could sustain in an automobile accident that wasn’t your fault.

Read on to learn more about this topic and then contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 if you require a free legal consultation.

Recognizing seatbelt defense

Driving or riding in a car without a seatbelt is technically against the law in the state of California according to the Vehicle Code. If you are the driver, it is also your duty to ensure that everyone else is wearing a seatbelt. Anyone who is not strapped up when you are stopped by the police might be fined or sent to traffic school.

Given that violating the Vehicle Code includes not wearing a seatbelt, it is handled similarly to other infractions like speeding, failure to signal, etc. in personal injury cases. As a result of rendering you partially accountable for the accident (in the event of a moving code violation) or for your injury, all of these infractions may restrict your ability to recover in a vehicle accident injury lawsuit (in the case of a seatbelt violation).

Here is one instance. Imagine you were stopped at a red light when another car rear-ended you, severely injuring your head. Naturally, given the other driver’s careless or negligent driving caused the collision, you would be allowed to file a personal injury claim against them. The driver’s attorney would undoubtedly look into whether or not you were buckled up. They would contend that your failure to use the safety features in your car contributed to your injuries and probably made it worse if they could prove you weren’t belted up.

In this situation, they would probably be able to persuade the judge to grant you less compensation for your injuries in order to take into account your personal contribution to those injuries. Any defense attorney worth their salt would at least consider using this strategy, referred to as the “seatbelt defense,” if not actually use it.

Contact an attorney if you are injured in a car accident

After a vehicle accident, not being fully compensated for your losses and medical costs can be extremely difficult for the rest of your life. Take no chances! Always wear a seatbelt to avoid irresponsible drivers from invoking the seatbelt defense against you. In the case of an accident, you should also contact an accomplished automobile accident injury lawyer like Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn. Call us now at (310) 209-1600 to request a consultation.

Need Help? Call us anytime at (310) 209-1600