People sometimes have a misconception that they can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver if they weren’t wearing their seatbelt. The court system does allow injured parties to file a lawsuit against at-fault drivers but will use comparative negligence to assign blame.
Comparative negligence will require the jury to determine what percentage of the blame to assign to the at-fault driver and the injured party. The at-fault driver will receive a percentage of blame for causing the accident while the injured party will receive a percentage of blame for not wearing their seat belt.
Once the jury determines what percentage of blame to give each party, the settlement offer can be determined. For example, if the injured party sued for $100,000 but they were found to be 50% at fault for their injuries, they could get awarded a settlement of $50,000.
The seat belt defense is very case-specific depending on the circumstances of the accident. If you have any further questions regarding a car accident and/or seat belts, please reach out to us. You can call us at 407-254-4901 or text us at 407-644-4444. We are always happy to offer a no obligation, free consultation to discuss your case with you.