Can I Still Sue If I Wasn’t Wearing My Seatbelt?

The state of Nevada requires everyone in a vehicle to wear a seatbelt at all times. Children must be in proper and weight-appropriate safety restraints, and adults must be fully clicked in. But what happens if you weren’t wearing your seatbelt? Will a car wreck attorney in Las Vegas still be able to get you compensation?

Association to Injuries and Percentage of Attribution

Front and rear passengers or drivers, so all occupants must wear restraints. A driver can receive a ticket if they are not wearing their seatbelt, and it can impact the degree of comparative negligence associated with your case. The reason for this is because safety restraints can reduce the force of impact with a blunt object such as the windshield.

Without safety restraints, a crash victim may continue to move forward after impact until they collide with a static or non-moving object. That is usually the steering wheel, airbag, dashboard, or windshield. Collision with any of these objects can result in serious injuries such as internal bleeding, open wounds, and more. What’s worse is when a person not wearing a restraint is projected from the vehicle, meaning that they will continue moving until they hit the pavement, ground, or an object that stops their motion.

There’s no doubt that there are serious risks with not wearing a seatbelt, but that doesn’t change the fact that many people forget to click their belt every day. Not wearing a seatbelt doesn’t put you at-fault, but it can change the percentage of assigned comparative negligence, which means that the insurance companies, or court, may find you partially at-fault for your injuries, not of the crash.

This degree of attribution for your injuries will almost always change the amount you’re able to receive for compensation.

Fault Calculations and How the Impact Your Claim

Nevada’s restraint use is much higher than the national average, with a 91% restraint use statewide. Even if you failed to put on your seatbelt just that one time it can be hard to argue that it’s a normal thing. It’s not. More people use a seatbelt than people who don’t, and that means that you immediately look like the odd one out.

The result is that your compensation award will have a reduction based on your degree of negligence. If the insurance companies agree or a judge decides that you’re 20% at fault for your injuries, then your medical portion of your compensation will be reduced by 20%. For example, if you were awarded $40,000 for your medical bills, you should expect to see about 20% removed from that because of your contribution to the injuries.

That 20% in this example would be about $8,000, and the final compensation may be only $32,000. That’s before legal fees and medical bills get paid and everything else, which means that not wearing a seatbelt will greatly diminish what compensation you actually walk away with at the close of your case. While it’s always best to wear your seat belt, if you were in a crash without it, there’s nothing you can do to correct that now. Be honest and upfront with your attorney, and see how you can still fight it.

Can You Still Receive Compensation if You Weren’t Wearing a Seatbelt?

Yes, you can still receive compensation, put in a claim, and fight for what you need to recover from this crash financially. However, you do need to be realistic. If you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, your injuries might not have been so severe. That fact can place your compensation at serious risk.

If you’ve had multiple rounds of medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover from your injuries, then you may need to approach the situation in terms of what could have happened anyway. A seatbelt can save lives, but that doesn’t mean it stops serious injuries from happening. People wear seatbelts and get into life-changing accidents daily. Work with a Nevada auto accident attorney to figure out what this situation means for your compensation expectations.

Auto Accident Attorneys in Las Vegas Give More Insight

Although this is probably your most pertinent question, it’s not likely to be your only concern. After an auto collision, it can be hard to sort out what questions you need to be answered and who can reliably answer them. That is when it’s time to turn to Las Vegas car accident attorneys. With the right legal care, you can get through this crash and hopefully win a reasonable settlement that can cover your medical bills.

Contact our personal injury law firm in Las Vegas right away and schedule an appointment to learn more about your claim and what you should expect as part of a fair compensation payout.

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