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If your car accident was caused by another driver or by a defective car part, the fact that your seat belt was not fastened at the time cannot be used in the guilty party’s defense. Also, you may have a medical certificate stating you have an affection preventing you from wearing the seat belt.
YES, you can still recover damages to which you are entitled if you were involved in an accident caused by someone else, even though you were not buckled up. But the amount you can ask for in terms of damages can be limited since you weren’t exactly following the law either. Thus, the settlement will most likely be a partial one, because you failed to engage in safe driving practices.
The first thing you should ask yourself in a situation like this is: who was responsible for the accident? In the case of a car crash that happened because of some defective electronic components of the car or because of another person’s negligence, you have the right to request compensation from the manufacturer or the guilty driver.
Not wearing the seatbelt does not change the fact that the crash was not your fault. Of course, you need to use the seat belt when driving, but the fact that it was not fastened at the time of the impact cannot change or offer the accused a chance to defend himself.
Also, if you possess a medical certificate stating you have an affliction and you can not wear the seat belt, you can receive compensation on condition that the document’s period of validity has not expired.
There may exist discussions that you are guilty of contributory negligence by not using the safety belt and therefore partially responsible for the injuries sustained. This could lead to a reduction in the amount you receive, but under no circumstances can this fact prohibit you from demanding compensation. In these given situations you need to contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary and schedule an assessment of your case in order to gain an overall perspective on your particular situation.
However, if wearing a seat belt meant that your injuries would have been the same or even worse, there is a great chance that no money will be deducted from your compensation.
For future reference, you need to keep in mind that seat belts are an important safety feature and they need to be used. Even in short-distance drives, many unpredictable things can happen and airbags are not designed to hold the driver or passenger in position during a potential crash. This is the job of the seat belt, to restrict body projection forward or sideward.