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I Wasn’t Wearing A Seatbelt – Will This Hurt My Auto Accident Injury Claim?

In the state of Florida it is required for all drivers and passengers in the front seats of a vehicle to be wearing a seatbelt regardless of age. However, sometimes we can forget to put our seatbelts on while we’re in a rush to get out of the door and to our destination. Unfortunately if you happen to be in an accident during one of these less mindful moments it may impact your auto accident injury claim.

Because Venice, Port Charlotte, North Port, Punta Gorda, and all other regions within Florida observe no-fault auto accident laws, you’ll likely be working with your own insurance provider regardless of who may have “caused” the accident at hand. The only exception is for severe accidents that result in severe injury which may go beyond your PIP insurance thresholds. In these severe instances, you may decide to pursue a lawsuit for the uncovered damages against a negligent party if you did not cause the accident at hand.

Even if you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of your accident, you can still file a claim with your insurance provider for your damages. Comparative negligence, however, will likely impact just how much of these damages you can collect. Comparative negligence assigns some fault to injured parties depending on their role in the accident. For instance, if you were in an accident that resulted in injury and you were not wearing your seatbelt, an insurance provider may determine that your injuries were 25% more severe because of your negligence. This may mean they will pay 75% of your damages, but you will be on the hook for the 25% you were deemed “at-fault” for.

Comparative negligence statutes and Florida personal injury law can make these types of auto accident cases messy and complicated situations for Florida motorists. Having a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney by your side can make these situations much simpler to navigate while improving your odds of success. Your personal injury attorney can help you to collect the right evidence, back up your case, and ensure you can maximize your settlement even if you’ve been unlucky enough to experience an accident during a day when you’ve forgotten your seatbelt.

How Seatbelts Help

Southwest Florida observes seatbelt laws for good reason – seatbelts work. A few ways seatbelts help to keep you safe during an auto accident in Florida are:

• They help to slow you down – When you’re in an auto accident your body will continue traveling at the same speed your vehicle was traveling before you experienced the crash. Your seatbelt helps to slow the body down and limit risk of severe injury.

• They keep you in the vehicle – Because your body is still traveling at great speed, it can be thrown from a vehicle either through the windshield or a window when a crash occurs. Your seatbelt keeps you firmly and safely in place.

• They dramatically cut your risk of severe injury or death – Studies have shown that wearing a seatbelt while in the front seat of a vehicle reduces your risk of serious injury by 50% and your risk of death by 45% in the event of an accident.

If you’ve been in an auto accident resulting in injury, whether you were wearing your seatbelt or not, we’re here to help. To learn more contact our professionals at today.

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