Not only is NOT wearing a seatbelt dangerous, but it can also backfire on you if you bring a claim against the responsible party in a car accident. In California, the other party will point to your "comparative negligence" for not having worn a seatbelt. Their argument will be that your lack of seatbelt contributed to your injury. In other words, had you been wearing your seatbelt, your injuries would have been far less serious. Of course that isn't always true, but truth doesn't really matter when it comes to defending a case in the personal injury world. The insurance company for the responsible party will do anything to poke holes in your case. Also, a jury might look unfavorably upon someone who was injured if they were not wearing a seatbelt, even if one can demonstrate the lack of a seatbelt had nothing to do with the injury. The moral of this story is you should wear your seatbelt when driving or anytime you're in a vehicle. Wearing your seatbelt is arguably the safest thing to do and is required by law. If you get hurt in an accident and you weren't wearing your belt, that fact will certainly be used against you. Simply put, be safe - personal injury case or not.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.