South Carolina Injury Attorneys
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt?

Can I File a Personal Injury Claim If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt?

If you weren’t wearing a seatbelt when you were injured in a car accident, you may be wondering whether or not you can file a personal injury claim. Does the lack of a seatbelt mean you were the negligent party? It’s a tricky question that depends on which state you live in, and what the evidence illustrates in your particular case.

Each state has a variation of a seatbelt law, and for the most part, not wearing a seat belt while driving is a state violation. However, in states like South Carolina, failure to wear a seatbelt is not considered evidence of negligence, which means that you’re still able to file a claim for compensation.

In other states such as Arizona, not wearing a seatbelt is considered negligence, and the at-fault driver and their insurance company may be able to use this evidence against you in what’s known as the “seatbelt defense.”

What’s the “Seatbelt Defense”?

The seatbelt defense is used in personal injury cases to argue that the claimant would’ve been unharmed, or their injuries would’ve been far less severe, if they had worn a seatbelt. Because no insurance company or driver wants to take all the blame for an accident, they most likely will look for any opportunity to pass off some liability, and can use this defense.

Does This Mean I Won’t Be Compensated at All?

It’s important for individuals to know that even if they weren’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of their accident, and even if the seatbelt defense is used against them, they may still be eligible for compensation. Again, this varies depending on state, but in some states, a comparative fault law ensures that any damages received will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. This means that if you’re considered 20% at fault for the injuries, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.

We Safeguard Your Rights to Full Compensation

Our lawyers at Christian & Christian have years of experience and have helped countless injured clients recover the damages they’ve accrued, allowing them to focus on healing quickly and getting back to their normal lives. We’re committed to protecting the rights of the injured, which includes seeking full compensation from negligent parties. You shouldn’t have to pay for being hurt as the result of someone else’s carelessness.

Call Christian & Christian to have all your personal injury questions answered at (864) 408-8890, or contact us online.


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