What Happens If I'm Injured in a Car Wreck but Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

Jul 11, 2018

What Happens If I'm Injured in a Car Wreck but Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

A victim of a car wreck who was not wearing a seat belt can get compensation for injuries. Not wearing a seat belt doesn’t stop you from going after a negligent driver. However, the insurance company and the driver at fault will try to raise the seat belt defense. This aims to pass some blame to victims for their injuries because they were not wearing a seat belt.

When the defense argues this, their aim is to reduce damages payable or eliminate them all together. Seat belt laws in Atlanta, GA state

  • All drivers and front seat passengers should have their seat belts on. Failure to do so could result in a fine of $15.
  • All passengers between ages 8 and 17 must have a seat belt regardless of the position in the car. This attracts a ticket and $25 fine if you don’t comply.
  • Infants and children below eight years should be secure in a car seat. The seat should have approval the United States Department of Transportation. The infants and children should also in the back unless it is not possible. Violation of this gets the driver a $50 fine.

 

How Effective is a Seat Belt at Preventing Car Wreck Fatalities and Injuries?

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Authority says seat belts save close to 13,000 lives annually. They could save 7,000 more lives if everybody buckled up. Statistics show 88.5% of Americans wear seat belts when traveling. There are times when people don’t buckle up. Making a quick dash to the neighborhood convenience store is not just a risky habit. It is also against Georgia seat belt law. You are supposed to use belt restraints whenever you are in a car. A car wreck can happen in seconds. It doesn’t matter whether you were going a short or long distance. A car wreck can even happen as you exit your driveway. It is best you always have one on.

The importance of buckling up every time you get into a car cannot be overemphasized. This action can save your life. It also makes your compensation case easier.

 

How Will Not Wearing a Seat Belt Be Used in My Car Wreck Claim?

Seat belts are compulsory under Georgia Law. If you didn’t wear one, it will be noted. Not wearing a seat belt will most likely mean you suffered more serious injuries. It may mean you sustained injuries in the car wreck that you wouldn’t have if wearing a safety belt. The defense will be out to prove that your negligence contributed to your injuries. You will need a car accident attorney to help you fight your case.

The at-fault driver’s lawyer may argue you exacerbated your injuries when you failed to protect yourself. This, in legal terms, is contributory negligence.  The insurer will look at these details and possibly try to get out of a settlement. If this fails they will seek to limit damages paid. However, if you were less than 49% at fault you should get compensation in Atlanta, GA.

Not wearing a safety belt in some states doesn’t affect your claim.  In Georgia, it does and can stop you from getting maximum compensation for your injuries. What you receive will depend on the degree to which the court feels you contributed to the injuries. If ejected from a car your injuries would be more serious than if restrained. Because of this, the amount recovered may reduce accordingly. To ensure fairness, the law states that the victim’s compensation should reduce as per their degree of fault. So if a victim was 20% to blame their compensation would be less 20%.

 

Not Wearing Your seat Belt in A Car Wreck? Review Your Claim With A Car Accident Attorney in Atlanta, GA.

A car accident attorney will know which strategies to use and what to emphasize in your car wreck claim. You may have questions on the impact of not wearing a seat belt on your claim. Contact Ted A. Greve & Associates in Atlanta, GA for help for your or a loved one. Our Atlanta accidents attorneys have assisted injury victims and their families for years. We will review your accident claim in a friendly and supportive manner. So call us now and let us help you get compensation for the injuries caused by a car accident.