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What Happens if You Were Not Wearing a Seat Belt in Your Car Accident?

Posted on in Personal Injury

car accident, not wearing a seat belt, San Jose auto accident lawyers, California personal injury attorney, California seat belt lawIn California, all motor vehicle drivers and passengers are required to wear a seat belt by law. Some people wonder if they get injured in a car accident where they were not at fault but they were not wearing their seat belt, will they be able to recover?

The answer to this question, usually, is that they can be compensated. However, the amount of compensation may be reduced. This can be a complex, factual scenario. Therefore, accident victims in this position are encouraged to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney.

Seat Belts Are Mandatory Because They Decrease Risk of Injury and Death

According to the Center for Disease Control, seat belts reduce substantial accident-related injuries and fatalities by about half. In 2015, the CDC reports that seat belts saved almost 14,000 lives in the United States.

On the other hand, about half of teens and adults under age 44 who died in car accidents in 2015 were not using a seat belt at the time of the collision.

Some motorists may believe that air bags negate the need for seat belts. However, this is erroneous. Air bags do provide some protection on their own, but they are not a substitute for seat belts. For adults, the combination of air bags and seat belts provide the most protection.

California Law on Seat belts and Car Accidents

California law specifically states that not using a seat belt when an accident occurs does not prevent a person from bringing a claim or lawsuit stemming from the collision. This means that an accident victim can be compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among other types of damages.

However, the at-fault party may be able to argue that the crash victim should not be fully compensated and that the compensation amount should be reduced to take into consideration the injuries that could have been avoided if a seat belt was used at the time of the crash.

This is typically proven by hiring car accident and medical experts who will review the facts of your case and testify to these issues.

Call a San Jose, CA Car Crash Attorney

Every car accident claim contains some weaknesses under the law. An attorney’s job is to identify these weaknesses and formulate the best arguments for your claim.

To learn more about your case, call the efficient San Jose auto accident lawyers at the Jachimowicz Law Group at 408-246-5500. Our firm does not charge clients attorney’s fees unless the client receives monetary compensation. Our firm also offers free initial consultations.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbelts/facts.html

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbelts/facts.html#tabs-2-1

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=27315.&lawCode=VEH

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