Many people believe that the law is black and white. After a car accident, many of us wonder what the next step is, what is required of us, and how traffic laws affect our insurance claim.

If you weren’t wearing any seatbelt during the accident, your claim may get affected, and you may earn less than your expectation. In spite of not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, you are still entitled to compensation.

It is necessary to discuss California Statutes and legal terms such as comparative negligence with a car accident lawyer in Orange County.

Please call our office at (714) 535-5090 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

What Does The Law Say About Seatbelts?

All occupants of a moving motor vehicle 8 years of age and older must wear a safety belt under California law.

Under 8-year-olds must be restrained in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Under the age of 2, all children must ride in a rear-facing car seat unless they weigh over 40 pounds or are taller than 40 inches.

The primary law requiring adults to wear seat belts is vehicle code 27315 vc. A person 16 years of age or older must wear a seat belt when either driving or riding in a vehicle.

woman hand fastening seatbelt car safe driving

Comparative Negligence

A comparative negligence rule of law allows both parties in a car accident to receive damages, even if both are partly at fault.

When you are injured in a car accident and you were not wearing a seatbelt, you are considered comparatively at fault. You may have suffered fewer injuries if you had been wearing a seatbelt.

If I’m At-Fault: If you were at fault for the accident and were not wearing a seatbelt, you cannot sue.

If The Other Driver At Fault: If the other driver was at fault for the accident and you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, they could still be held liable.

Therefore, the amount of compensation you receive from the insurance company will depend on your level of negligence and how that contributed to the accident. In California, passengers are also required to wear seatbelts. Talk to an Orange County personal injury lawyer.

Please call our office at (714) 535-5090 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Does Not Wearing Seatbelt Affect Insurance Claims?

The seatbelt law is very clear, and if you did not wear a seatbelt, the party representing the liable driver will use that fact to minimize the damages you are entitled to.

However, just because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident doesn’t mean you won’t receive any money. Although the amount of compensation is affected by the rule of comparative negligence, you are still entitled to compensation. Discuss your situation with an Orange County personal injury lawyer.

Injuries From Not Wearing A Seatbelt

The first thing you should change after being in a car accident is your speed. When your car is impacted, it will likely slow down, as you are traveling at high speeds. Unless you are wearing a seatbelt, your body will continue to move and bounce in the car. By fastening your seatbelt to the car, you remain anchored to it when the car slows suddenly.

paramedic giving oxygen injured girl

Injuries caused by not wearing a seatbelt include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Whiplash.
  • Neck fractures
  • Spinal Cord injuries
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Knee Trauma
  • Facial injuries, cuts, and scars

Those who are not wearing seatbelts at the time of an accident are more likely to suffer more severe injuries. If you wish to know more, consult with an experienced workplace injury lawyer.

How Effective Are Seatbelts?

A seatbelt is very effective at reducing injuries and deaths due to car accidents.

  • There were 36,096 car accidents in 2019 that killed passengers and drivers, and 47% of those deaths involved people not wearing seatbelts.
  • An estimated 14,995 lives were saved by seatbelts in 2017.
  • By buckling up in the front seat, you reduce your risk of injury or death by 45% to 50%.
  • In the event of an accident, passengers and drivers who don’t wear seatbelts are 30 times more likely to eject.

Useful Related Article: Who’s Responsible For Low Visibility Car Accidents?

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