In the United States, seat belts are required by law to prevent or minimize injuries and deaths during car accidents. Florida mandates the usage of seat belts while driving for all drivers and front-seat passengers (Florida Statute 316.614). If you are pulled over by the police for not wearing a seatbelt, the officer may give you a ticket or fine, even worse, if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt when you are involved in a car accident, you run the risk of being severely injured as well as receiving less compensation for your damages.
What Compensation Can You Get if You Didn’t Use a Seatbelt?
If you are in a car accident in Florida and were not wearing a seatbelt, you may still be entitled to get compensation from your Personal Injury Protection insurance. However, if you have been involved in an accident, you should speak with an experienced lawyer before accepting any insurance offers. In the event your insurance company learns that you failed to wear a seatbelt when involved in a car accident, they may try to reduce your payout, assuming that your injuries were worse as a result.
Can you Sue the Other Driver if They Hit You?
No matter whether you wore a seat belt or not, if you were injured in an accident on the streets of Miami, you can still pursue a lawsuit. The state of Florida follows a pure comparative negligence law. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence law the court will determine the amount of fault attributed to each party. As long as the fault isn’t 100% yours, you can still recover some compensation.
Be prepared that the other party will almost certainly raise the “Seat Belt Defense” in court to argue that you should receive less money because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. The seat belt defense allows the defendant to contend that your failure to use a seat belt contributed to or worsened your injuries, even if the other driver caused the accident.
If you were not wearing a seat belt during your accident call our law firm as soon as you possibly can. While not wearing a seatbelt won’t stop you from receiving compensation, it will increase the difficulty of your case and risk reducing the total amount of compensation you may be entitled to. So if you have questions, our team has the answers – contact us today.