I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt! Will that Affect my Car Accident Claim?

Car accidents can happen at any time, and seatbelts are critical in saving lives and preventing you from getting harmed. Car accident injuries tend to be much worse for drivers and passengers that are not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. According to The United States Department of Transportation, of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts. In 16 states, including New York, it is a law to buckle your seatbelt no matter how long the duration of the ride is. Car accidents can happen while you are going to a local grocery or taking a long road trip driving on the highway. 

If you are not wearing a seatbelt, you can be thrown violently into an airbag causing painful injuries, even death. If the victim wasn’t wearing a seat belt, the seat belt defense could significantly complicate a claim for damages. The unbelted victim’s goal is to show how wearing a seat belt would not have made a difference in sustained injuries. They can also try to prove that the seatbelt had not been working during the accident. If you choose to remain unbuckled when you enter the car, this is a problem that’s yours. It is your choice, and you are knowingly accepting the consequences. 

The Legal Ramifications of Not Wearing Your Seat Belt

  • Negatively affect your insurance claim
  • Failing to observe the law will not help your case
  • Proving your case:
  1. The driver was negligent if the driver violated the posted speed limit or drove recklessly
  2. The seat belt was not adequate to protect you from injury 

Seatbelt laws are clear. If you were not wearing a seatbelt, the insurance company would minimize the damages you are entitled to for your injuries. Wearing a seatbelt can save your life, so buckle up!

We are Here to Help

If you sustained injuries in a crash when you were not wearing a seatbelt, you need a car accident lawyer to help protect your legal rights. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. At Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye, PLLC, we offer more than 60 years of combined experience and have convenient office locations in Long Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and we know how to approach these cases to get the results you need. Our firm is committed to demanding full accountability from the manufacturers of unsafe products. If you or your loved ones are victims of hazardous recalled products, contact our New York offices by phone at 800-469-7429 to schedule an appointment. You can also contact us using our online contact form and on our Live Chat application on our website to have your questions answered at any time.