Yes. You recover damages if you were not wearing a seat belt in a car accident in Orlando, FL. However, you may recover less than you had hoped.
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Recovering Compensation if You Were Not Wearing a Seat Belt
Florida’s seat belt law states that not wearing a seat belt is not negligence per se; however, it can be used as evidence of comparative negligence.
Florida follows a pure comparative negligence law (FL § 768.81) regarding liability in car accidents. Pure comparative negligence holds that you can recover compensation even if you contribute to the accident. In this particular scenario, if you were not wearing a seat belt, your injuries may be more severe than if you had been wearing your seat belt. Your failure to wear a seat belt may have made your injury worse; therefore, your recovery will be limited to only the amount you were not responsible for your own injuries.
For example, if the insurance company, a lawyer, a judge or jury determine that you were 15% responsible for your own injuries due to your choice not to wear a seat belt, your compensation for your injuries and losses will be reduced by 15%, and you will be able to receive 85% of the recovery amount. Never let comparative negligence laws dissuade you from filing a claim. You still have the right to compensation for your injuries.
Recoverable Compensation in an Orlando Car Accident
The compensation you recover will depend on the specifics of your accident but may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If your loved one lost their life in an accident in which they were not wearing a seat belt, we may be able to recover funeral and burial costs and other damages through a wrongful death claim.
Seat Belt Laws in Florida
FL § 316.614 requires that all drivers, all front-seat passengers and all passengers under the age of 18 wear a seat belt in a vehicle. Drivers who are not wearing a seat belt, or any passenger not wearing a seat belt under the age of 18 can be charged. If you were in violation of this law, then the amount you could recover will likely be affected.
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Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Orlando, FL
If you believe that they cannot recover damages if you were not wearing a seat belt in a car accident in Orlando, FL, you may be wrong. However, per Florida law, you are allowed to receive compensation for your injuries and losses even if you were not wearing a seat belt—as long as another party caused or contributed to the accident.
Contact the car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to help you understand how you can receive compensation after your car accident.