Does Not Wearing a Seatbelt Affect Your Insurance Claim?

If you’ve ever found yourself in a car crash, then you know there are a million things going through your mind — what just happened, is anyone hurt, what happens next? You may wonder who is to blame for the crash, or you may have witnessed what caused the accident firsthand. Regardless of who is to blame, it can be easy to point fingers if you were the one hurt in the crash. How will you pay for your medical bills, and can you be compensated by the parties responsible? If you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, the answer may not be so cut and dry.

Seatbelt Laws in Florida

According to Florida Statute 316.614.4, it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle unless each passenger and the operator of the vehicle are restrained by a safety belt or by a child restraint device. This means that while you’re operating a vehicle you and everyone in your car at the same must be wearing a seatbelt. Not doing so is not only illegal, but it can impact how much compensation you can receive when making a claim after an accident that has caused you injury. That’s because Florida is a comparative negligence state.

What is comparative negligence?

Comparative negligence is when all parties involved in a car accident can be found proportionally at fault. For example, if someone wasn’t paying attention and hit the back of your car and you sustained injuries, you may think they would be completely at fault. But, if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt and wearing one would have prevented you from sustaining injuries during the incident, then the other person involved may only be responsible for damages to your vehicle, and not for all of your medical bills.

Alternatively, if you were at fault for the accident and weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you would also not be able to sue for damages. This could also impact the compensation from your insurance provider as the compensation received is based on your level of negligence during the accident.

Common Injuries From Not Wearing a Seatbelt

When an accident occurs, the collision between your vehicle and the object you’re making contact with isn’t the only collision that happens. If you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, your body collides with the steering wheel, door, or other interior parts of the car, but your internal organs are also involved in a collision. Inertia causes them to collide with your ribs and other skeletal structures. All of these collisions can result in the following:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Fractured and broken ribs
  • Collapsed lung
  • Facial lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Muscle and skeletal injuries to the lower extremities
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) — ranging from a concussion to impaired cognitive function

How a Lawyer Can Help

If you were involved in an accident and weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you shouldn’t lose all hope of being compensated for your injuries. A seasoned car accident attorney can help you achieve the best outcome possible. That’s because a lawyer completes a discovery phase on your behalf to obtain any evidence of your involvement in the accident. And, if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, they can contact experts to determine if your injuries could have been sustained even while wearing a seatbelt — giving you better odds of receiving compensation for your injuries.

Call Clark Law for a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and you don’t know how to move forward, let us help you. Our legal experts will ensure you have the best outcome possible. Call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.