If you were injured in a car accident while your seatbelt wasn’t buckled, courts will likely interpret it as negligent on your part. As such, the courts are unlikely to reward negligent behavior.
This law varies by state, but Indiana law requires that every driver and passengers of non-commercial vehicles have their seat belts fastened.
What If Someone Hits Me While I’m Not Wearing A Seatbelt?
The basis for an injury claim after a car accident is based upon negligence (a driver’s failure to meet a standard level of care while on the road). The plaintiff would have to argue that the defendant both failed to meet his or her basic responsibilities as a driver, and this failure resulted in injury for the plaintiff.
However, failure to wear a seatbelt can be argued as negligent behavior. If the defending party can establish that the plaintiff’s own negligence–in our case, not wearing a seat belt–contributed to the injuries, then he or she will be held responsible in court.
Even if it is proven that the defending driver’s negligence caused the accident, details regarding the plaintiff’s seatbelt can affect the case. Some judges may choose to split the fault 50/50, where the defense would pay for 50% of the damage caused.
Could Wearing a Seatbelt Have Prevented Injuries Sustained in the Accident?
Statistically, yes, wearing a seatbelt can prevent injuries sustained in an accident.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of serious car accident-related injuries by almost 50%. Further, more than half of drivers aged 13-44 who died in an accident were not wearing seat belts.
Need an Indiana Attorney After an Accident? Get in Touch
At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, our knowledgeable and trustworthy car accident attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your recovery. If you have sustained an injury in an auto accident, call today for a free consultation or case evaluation. You can also schedule an appointment with us online. We are here to help; let us stand by your side.