I Wasn’t Wearing My Seatbelt, Can I Still Recover Compensation In A Car Accident Claim?

When someone is injured in a car accident, he or she may be concerned about receiving compensation to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. If the injury was the fault of another driver, it’s easy to assume that driver will be responsible for the damages caused by the collision. However, the accident investigation may show that the victim wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. If the victim was not wearing a seatbelt, this could impact the accident claim.

Determining Negligence

When a personal injury claim is filed for a car accident, the goal is to find out who was negligent and who caused the accident. Negligence may be defined as not exercising the correct amount of care to prevent an accident. Someone who runs a stop sign and causes a car accident would be deemed negligent.

Negligence isn’t always straightforward. In some cases, both parties were partially responsible for an accident. While one driver may be more responsible for the accident, the other driver may bear some responsibility. If both drivers are responsible for the collision, Pennsylvania law states that the victim can still receive compensation for injuries even though the victim is partially negligent. The amount of the compensation the victim receives is reduced by the percent of fault assigned to the victim.

For instance, if the victim was 20 percent at fault for the accident through his actions, the amount of compensation he receives is be reduced by 20 percent. In other words, if the amount of damages total $100,000, the victim receives $80,000 (the total damages less 20 percent).

Is Not Wearing Seatbelts Negligence?

Even though it has been proven that wearing a seatbelt saves lives and may even help reduce the severity of injuries, the failure to wear a seatbelt is not considered negligent in a traffic accident. However, not wearing a seatbelt is against the law, and it could result in being charged with a traffic violation. On the other hand, the failure to wear a seatbelt did not cause the accident, which is the definition of negligence. Failing to wear your seatbelt does not cause you to run a red light or fail to pay attention to your surroundings.

Hiring an Erie Accident Attorney

Situations like this are an example of why you should always hire an experienced Erie accident attorney. An Erie accident attorney reviews your case and ensures your legal rights are protected. Choose an attorney with knowledge, experience, skills, and resources that can help you build a strong case to recover full compensation for your damages, losses, and injuries. The insurance company uses every opportunity to reduce the amount of money it must pay to settle your claim, including accusing you of being at fault for the collision. Put a law firm who has experience dealing with large insurance companies on your side to fight for your rights.

Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Erie accident attorneys.  We deal with the insurance company, adjusters, attorneys, and others on your behalf so that you can focus on your health, your recovery, and your family.