Many individuals involved in St. louis auto accidents wonder if not wearing a seatbelt will affect their case.
People that suffer injuries in auto collisions often come to their St. Louis auto accident lawyers with concerns about whether or not they will be eligible to receive compensation. One of the common reasons why is that they failed to wear their seatbelt in the crash. While this mistake does not disqualify you from making a claim, it will likely change your case. Here is how not wearing your seatbelt might affect your claim.
Assigning Fault in Missouri Personal Injury Claims
When a team of lawyers assesses a car accident case, one of the first things they will do is assign fault. This step in the process is crucial, as it informs who will seek benefits and how much money they stand to receive. The primary strategy these professionals use is looking at negligent actions taken by each driver. If one runs a stop sign or red light, that person will most likely receive the vast majority of the blame. If both drivers played a role, they might be assigned similar levels.
The Other Driver’s Duty to Keep You Safe
We can assign blame because the law dictates a duty for every driver on the road. It is to act in a reasonable manner that keeps everyone else safe. For this reason, actions like speeding, running red lights, and being intoxicated all lead to paying out benefits. If you engage in those behaviors, you will likely be liable for the damage you cause to another person in a collision. The reverse is generally true as well.
Your Duty For Self Care
Additionally, you have a duty to protect yourself. One of the most straightforward ways of doing so is wearing your seatbelt. If you do not, you are not meeting your requirements for self-care, which will generally reduce your potential for obtaining compensation.
Can You Still Make a Claim?
Fortunately, you can still make a claim and try to get your injuries paid for by the other party. However, it is important to understand that this will likely impact your case.
What Will Be Different About It?
The primary difference pertains to the first section in this article, which is assigning fault. Even if another driver does something negligent, like rear-end you while speeding, not wearing your seatbelt may mean that you take some of the blame too. What might happen is you getting settlement offers that reflect how much compensation you would have needed if you had been wearing your seatbelt, rather than how much you really need in the aftermath of the crash.
As you can see, you are generally eligible to receive injury compensation even if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. That being said, your potential benefits could be lessened by this mistake. No matter what, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible following an accident to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free, and you don’t pay unless we get you money!