Does Not Wearing a Seat Belt Affect My Car Accident Claim? Were you injured in a car accident while not wearing a seat belt? If so, read on to find out how it could affect your damages claim.

Florida law requires all front seat occupants and all occupants under 18 to wear a seat belt while riding in a car. If you suffer injuries in an accident, not wearing a seat belt can affect your car accident claim. 

Our team can help you determine how your right to compensation might be affected.

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Not Wearing a Seat Belt Could Impact How Much Compensation You Can Recover

If another party caused your accident, you can still legally file a claim for damages for your injuries, even if you didn’t have a seat belt on at the time of the accident. However, the other party can claim that you contributed to your injuries by not wearing a seat belt. 

For example, if you suffered injuries that would have been less severe had you been restrained, you may recover less compensation. A member of our team can help you fight against any accusations that you caused the accident or contributed to your injuries.

Injuries You Can Suffer From Not Wearing a Seat Belt

Seat belts are designed to protect drivers and their passengers in the case of an auto accident. Not only do they prevent you from being ejected during a collision, but they also prevent you from being thrown around the vehicle and sustaining injuries from the dashboard, windows, and other passengers. Furthermore, by restraining your hips and shoulders, seat belts can prevent bone fractures and other impact injuries. 

If you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of your collision, it is likely that you suffered injuries. You may also have suffered more severe injuries than you would have if you were wearing a safety belt. Common injuries people suffer when not wearing a seat belt include:

  • Injuries to the skull and brain
  • Fractures of the neck and shoulders
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Knee injuries from hitting the dashboard
  • Chest crush injuries from hitting the steering wheel
  • Road rash that occurred after ejection from the vehicle

In some cases, these injuries can be deadly. 

It is always wise to wear a seat belt; it can reduce your risk of fatal injuries in a passenger car accident by more than 45 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You lower your risk of “moderate to critical” injury by 50 percent. These percentages are even higher in a light truck accident.

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Can Unbelted Passengers Recover Compensation After an Accident?

Unbelted passengers can recover compensation after an accident; however, being a passenger can complicate matters. To recover compensation, you may need to allege that the driver of the vehicle you were riding in was negligent. Our team can help you make these allegations and recover compensation. 

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How a Lawyer Can Help You Fight for Compensation

Without the help of a car accident lawyer, you may have trouble defending yourself against accusations that you caused or worsened your own injuries by not wearing a seat belt. A lawyer will be able to advise you on the best way to build your case. 

Our team will negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf. If the insurance company attempts to deny your claim, we may recommend that you take your case to court, where the outcome will be determined by a jury. 

Compensation You Can Recover After an Accident

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you could recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Any difference in earning capacity from before the accident
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

We can also help you if you lost a loved one due to a car accident. 

You Have a Limited Time to Take Legal Action

According to Florida Statutes § 95.11, you have four years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. If you lost a loved one in a vehicle accident, you have two years from the date of their passing to file a lawsuit. 

If you miss the filing deadline, your case may automatically be dismissed. Our team will manage all deadlines in your case.

Our Team Can Help You Fight for Compensation Even If You Were Not Wearing a Seat Belt

If you have been harmed in a car accident when you were not wearing a seat belt, speak with a member of our team before you file a claim. Your lawyer will explain the issues that may arise with this type of case and the amount of damages you may be able to recover. 

In a situation where your compensation claim may be reduced or denied, we can help to protect your rights and interests. The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you pursue the financial settlement you deserve. We can also make sure that all your paperwork is filed on time, so you don’t miss the deadline. Contact us today at 1-800-747-3733.