Anyone who has had a car accident has a lot to deal with. Likely the car they were driving has suffered extensive damage and there is always the distinct possibility they have suffered a significant injury. There are so many things to worry about and consider when dealing with an auto accident. There is physical pain which can be debilitating at times, particularly if the injuries are severe enough to warrant a hospital stay or surgery to repair the damage.
Those worries can be compounded when confronted by the legal complications of the car accident. There is a lot of paperwork and potential for court appearances in some circumstances. All of this can be too much to handle given the physical and emotional state of those who have survived an accident.
What Are My Right if I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt During a Car Accident?
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident that was no fault of their own is entitled to some form of compensation. This is true whether the individual was wearing a seatbelt or not. Most people are unaware of this fact and worry that by not wearing a seatbelt they forfeit any claim to compensation, but it is simply not true.
Certainly, insurance companies can make the argument that a particular driver might not have been injured had they been wearing their seatbelt but that does preclude the individual from a monetary award. They may even try to argue that the injuries would not have been as severe had the safety belt been worn. This does not in any way absolve the responsible party from having to pay some form of compensation.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Statutes
The definition of negligence by Cornell Law is “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” Florida is a comparative negligence state. It means that if you are partially at fault for an accident in which you suffer harm and in this case by not wearing a seatbelt, your recovery of damages will be reduced, but not eliminated.
If you were not wearing a seat when the car accident happened, you may have sustained more severe injuries than you would have. If it is determined that not wearing a seatbelt made your injuries 25 percent more severe than they would have been, for example, you legally assume 25 percent of the blame for your injuries.
What if I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt In Someone Else’s Car?
If you sustained injuries while in someone else’s car where you would be considered a passenger, then the case can become more complex. In this situation, your legal team can make a claim that the driver should have insisted on you wearing a seatbelt. Since this can become the driver’s responsibility, the claim can be settled with the other party and the driver being responsible for your damages. For example, if the other party is at fault, they would pay 75% while the driver of the vehicle where you were a passenger would pay the other 25%.
In order to receive the compensation you deserve, you need an experienced legal team and The Barnes Firm is here to help.
Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident
The Barnes Firm strongly suggests any individual who has been in a car accident and who has questions regarding compensation or their rights in general to contact their team of experienced attorneys who specialize in this type of case. The attorneys will go over every aspect of the case and look for key pieces of evidence which might’ve been overlooked which might be important in increasing the potential monetary value of your case. They can also find things that likely could mitigate the findings and draw things in your favor if this proceeds to court.
There are too many things in play for an individual to go in alone against the insurance companies and courts. Do not make the mistake of thinking this will go away and that you will be treated fairly. You need someone on your side with your best interests in mind. Without someone representing you, it is possible you will receive no compensation and even face monetary penalties by agreeing to something you do not fully understand.
The Barnes Firm is always here to answer your legal questions, offer advice in your best interest, and defend your rights. Do not hesitate to contact us regarding any personal injury claim or car accident.
We are The Barnes Firm and we are here for you. Reach us on the web at http://thebarnesfirmcareers.com/