In most states, including Florida, the drivers and passengers must wear seat belts while on the road. Whether sitting in the front seat or the rear seat, every person under 18 years must wear seat restraints. Despite being very careful, accidents do occur and sometimes because of another person’s fault or negligence. If the other driver is liable for the crash, the accident victim has every right to pursue an insurance claim and collect damages. Most importantly, it holds even when the victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time the accident occurred. A driver causing an accident due to negligence is liable for the victim’s injuries under the Florida statutes.
Hire or engage a Tampa car accident lawyer who will explain the legality of the issue. He will explain the use of pure comparative negligence doctrine by Florida state for assigning liability. Thus, if you are not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, it may reduce the percentage you collect as a settlement.
The lawyer appointed by you will help you understand the concept of comparative fault or comparative negligence. For example, suppose the other driver is driving recklessly or has surpassed the posted speed limit resulting in an accident. In that case, the driver is considered negligent making him liable for your injuries. If you were not wearing seat restraint at the time of the accident and have sustained grievous injuries more than you have if you were wearing a seat belt, it can be factored in the legal case. The lawyer and the insurance company may determine your failure to wear the seat restraint worsening your injuries, and as such, you will also be expected to take the blame for your injuries. The reduced liability is also referred to as the Seat Belt Defense in Florida.
What if you are a passenger?
If you are a passenger traveling in the car of some other person and are not wearing a seatbelt, the scenario changes slightly. In this situation, you can legally claim through your lawyer that it was the driver’s responsibility to ensure that you buckled up before the car was in motion. That considered, the driver must pay 85 percent for the injuries sustained by you. The driver has the liability for the added 15 percent reduced value by the party’s at-fault seatbelt defense.
Such legal suits get a lot complicated and need a Tampa car accident lawyer’s expertise to help you through the process. The lawyer will use his expertise, experience, and legal acumen to help you get a good settlement covering various expenses.
When driving or driving in a car as a passenger, it is imperative to wear a seatbelt. Failing to do so may result in accidents and injuries. If such an untoward incident has already occurred, do not hesitate to reach out to a noted lawyer who can help you with your case and help get a good settlement. Stay safe and stay protected.