You can still sue after a Florida car accident if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. However, it can be more challenging because Florida is now a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction— barring claims in which the plaintiff is determined (by a jury or judge) to be more than 50% at fault for the accident. Not wearing a seatbelt can be used to argue that you contributed to your injuries and, therefore, your share of the fault is greater. This makes the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida essential.
At Kogan & DiSalvo, we fight for your right to fair compensation despite the recent tort reforms. We will leverage our experience and significant resources to rebut arguments presented by the defense that would seek to bar you from recovering damages from your car accident. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can answer your questions and assess if you have a viable personal injury claim.
Does Driving Without a Seatbelt Prove I Was Negligent?
Failing to wear a seat belt in Florida does not prove you were negligent. The court considers the failure to buckle up as a factor in a modified contributory negligence jurisdiction–whereby each driver’s actions are compared to determine who bears the greater responsibility for the accident. As noted above, to recover damages, you must be less than 50% at fault.
What Happens in the Seatbelt Defense?
Research from The National Safety Council has established that seat belts save lives and reduce the severity of injuries in vehicular crashes. They prevent you from being ejected and hitting the windshield, dashboard, or steering wheel.
This abundance of data gives insurers and drivers an incentive to pursue the “Seatbelt Defense” as a way to avoid liability. However, the defendant has to prove that your injuries were caused by not wearing one or that your injuries were made worse. If an insurer insists on settling quickly for a small amount because you weren’t wearing a seat belt, do not accept it. They know that proving a seat belt defense is not easy. Seek guidance and advocacy from a skilled car accident attorney.
Contact Us at Kogan & DiSalvo for a Free Consultation
We are experienced in accident scene analysis and personal injury claims which enables us to help prove that seat belt noncompliance did not contribute to your injuries. In addition, we have years of experience negotiating with insurers and opposing counsel to obtain maximum recovery for our clients, whether your case is settled during negotiations or at trial.
We could seek maximum recovery for your damages by establishing that your noncompliance was not a cause or a contributing factor to your injuries. Contact us today and schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.