If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt, Can I Still Make a Claim?

In Florida, a common question we encounter at Zweben Law Group is whether not wearing a seatbelt affects your ability to make a claim after a car accident. It’s a valid concern, and we’re here to clarify it for you. Although wearing a seatbelt is a legal requirement in Florida, not wearing one does not automatically disqualify you from making a claim. However, it can impact the claim process and the compensation you might receive.

Comparative Negligence in Florida

Florida follows a comparative negligence system. This means if you’re involved in a car accident while not wearing a seatbelt, your actions could be considered as contributing to the severity of your injuries. Consequently, this might affect the amount of compensation you can recover. For instance, if you’re found to be 20% at fault for your injuries due to not wearing a seatbelt, your compensation could be reduced by that percentage. If you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, there’s no case.

Understanding the Impact of Not Wearing a Seatbelt on Claims

The impact of not wearing a seatbelt on personal injury claims, particularly in Florida, can be significant and complex. This scenario often involves the determination of comparative fault, which plays a crucial role in the determination of compensation. Here’s a detailed explanation:

  1. Impact on Personal Injury Claims: In the context of not wearing a seatbelt, if you’re involved in a car accident, the defense in a personal injury claim may argue that your failure to wear a seatbelt is comparative fault. They might claim that while the accident may not have been your fault, your injuries were more severe than they would have been had you been wearing a seatbelt.
  2. Legal Strategy in Countering Defense Arguments: As personal injury lawyers, an essential part of the strategy is to counter these arguments effectively. This involves proving that the primary cause of your injuries was the negligent actions of the other party involved in the accident, not the fact that you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. 
  3. Gathering Evidence: To counter-argue the impact of not wearing a seatbelt, lawyers typically gather and present evidence that demonstrates the nature and extent of injuries that would have occurred regardless of seatbelt use. This could include medical expert testimony, accident reconstruction analysis, and other forms of evidence that support the claim that the primary cause of injury was the accident itself.
  4. Aiming for Fair Compensation: The goal in these cases is to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, despite not wearing a seatbelt. This includes compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The aim is to ensure that the reduction in compensation due to the seatbelt issue is kept to a minimum and that the primary focus remains on the negligence of the other party involved in the accident.

Steps To take When Filing a Claim

If you’ve been in an accident in Florida without wearing a seatbelt, it’s crucial to understand the steps to take. First, seek medical attention immediately. Then, document everything about the accident and your injuries. Contact us at  Zweben Law Group promptly so we can help guide you through the claim process with this factor in mind.

Statute of Limitations

In Florida, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This statute of limitations is critical, and missing this deadline can mean forfeiting your right to compensation. Therefore, even if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, it’s imperative to act promptly and consult with an experienced injury firm to protect your rights and explore your options for filing a claim.

Contact Us, Zweben Law Group Today

The aftermath of an accident or injury in Florida can be overwhelming. Remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. At Zweben Law Group, we’re dedicated to helping you understand your rights and options every step of the way. If you’ve been involved in an accident in Florida, contact us at 772-223-5454  or online for a free consultation. Our experienced team is ready to provide the support and guidance you need to face this challenging time.