Can I Sue If I Didn’t Wear My Seat Belt?
Wearing a seat belt while driving in a car can be the difference between life or death in the event of a car accident. Of the 22,215 people killed in car accidents, 47% of those victims were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
As a personal injury attorney, Kim Welch knows the dangers of choosing not to buckle up in a car. So, what happens if you are injured in an accident in Colorado and were not wearing a seat belt? While you may assume you no longer have a claim to damages resulting from the crash, that is not necessarily the case.
Why Is It Important to Wear a Seat Belt While Driving?
With so many car accident deaths linked to the victim’s choice not to wear a seat belt, the dangers are obvious. Aside from the possibility of death, wearing a seat belt is essential for many reasons:
- It is the law
- It gives a good example to passengers or children in the car
- It prevents you from being ejected during an accident
- It decreases the chance of fatality in a crash
- If you do not wear one, you may not be able to collect as much financial compensation for your injury claim after an accident
The general rule is better safe than sorry when it comes to wearing a seat belt. So buckle up when driving and encourage your passengers to do the same.
How Will Not Wearing a Seat Belt Affect My Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been involved in a car accident in the State of Colorado, whether or not you were wearing a seat belt does not mean you can no longer make a personal injury claim. While the other driver and the insurance company may attempt to blame you for not wearing a seat belt, you still have the right to pursue a claim for financial compensation in return for any damages suffered.
Colorado Is a Comparative Fault State
In a comparative fault state, if the at-fault driver can prove that the victim was also at fault or negligent, the damages owed can be reduced. However, under Colorado law, this does not apply to victims of car accidents who were not wearing a seat belt.
The Colorado Court system has made a point to reject the notion that not wearing a seat belt in the event of a crash may constitute comparative fault. Instead, Colorado’s common law states that a victim’s lack of wearing a seat belt can only reduce damages related to pain and suffering.
So, What Does This Mean?
If you have been in a Colorado car accident, you may still recover damages for any injuries you have suffered as a result. It is important to note that while common law states the financial compensation you are owed may be lowered if evidence is provided that you did not wear a seat belt, it is possible that it may not be lowered as well. Each personal injury claim is handled on a case-by-case basis, and depending on the evidence provided by you and the at-fault driver, you may still get full compensation for damages.
Seek Assistance from Experienced Colorado Lawyer
Being involved in a car accident can be devastating. No one expects a crash to occur, but it is always important to wear a seat belt while out on the open roads. If you find yourself in a crash with or without wearing a seat belt, it is essential to have the help of an experienced personal injury attorney like Kim Welch on your side.
Awarded the US Business News’ Legal Elite award in 2020, Kim Welch is ready to guide you through your personal injury claim as you attempt to regain damages owed to you. For a free consultation, fill out our online contact form or call (888) 590-5510.