You were driving to work, or going to pick up your kids. In all the rush, you forgot to fasten your seatbelt. Suddenly, a car slams into you and you find yourself on the way to the hospital.
This scenario is very common, and it happens almost every day. The person who was not wearing a seatbelt at the moment of the accident could be the victim who suffered injuries as a result of the other party’s negligence. However, since he or she did not wear a seatbelt, he or she cannot file a claim. But is this really true?
The answer is NO. Yes, you forgot to wear your seatbelt, which could have prevented some of your injuries, but you were still a victim who got injured as a result of someone else’s negligent actions. And by default, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your damages.
The Seatbelt Defense Factor
It is true that if your case goes into negotiations (and it usually does), the other party (the adjusters) will try and use the “you did not wear the seatbelt at the time of the accident” phrase against you to try and lower your total compensation. But that does not mean that you are not entitled to one. You can still get the compensation for your injuries, but it may not be as large as you thought it to be.
You see, if you do not settle outside the court, the case will proceed to trial. Once it does, the court will take into consideration the “seatbelt defense”, which may impact the total sum of your compensation.
The best thing you can do is speak with a personal injury attorney in Virginia before you start the negotiations. If there is a way to handle the negotiations professionally and with great success, an attorney is up for the challenge. Simply give them a call as soon as you are able to and schedule your free initial consultation.
Note: the seatbelt defense is not allowed in all states, and to learn more about it and if it applies in your state, speak with your attorney.
Breach of Duty of Care
Some adjusters may argue that by not wearing a seatbelt, you breached the duty of care and thus put yourself and everyone else in danger. At the same time, they will argue that you probably suffered one-too-many injuries because you were not protected by your seatbelt.
And this conversation can go for ages until one of the parties decides to give up. Luckily, with the help of experienced and seasoned Virginia personal injury attorneys at Randall Page, P.C. you could fight the seatbelt defense and end up getting the compensation you need, which will cover your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Do not try to argue with the adjusters about your seatbelt and the impact it had on the accident. Let an attorney do it for you.