There are certain factors in a car wreck that can make the victim’s claim for compensation more complicated. One of these is not wearing a seat belt when involved in an accident. This does not mean that you do not have a claim against the negligent driver, but it could result in you having to be realistic about your claim and accepting less in compensation for your injuries.
How Not Wearing a Seat Belt Could Affect Your Claim for Compensation After Your Car Crash
In Nevada, a driver and his passengers are required to wear a seat belt. In some cases, whether you were wearing a seat belt will have no bearing on the seriousness of your injuries caused by a car accident. In this situation, the fact that you were not wearing a seat belt should not reduce your claim—at least not by much.
However, not wearing a seat belt often can increase the severity of the injuries in a crash or the likelihood that the person would die. If not wearing a seat belt contributed to your injuries, it could affect the amount of compensation you receive under Nevada’s comparative negligence laws. These rules could affect your claim as follows:
- If the cause of your injuries was 51 percent or more due to the fact that you didn’t buckle up, you would have no claim for compensation against the negligent driver.
- If the cause of your injuries was less than 51 percent due to not wearing a seat belt, you would have a claim for compensation against the negligent driver. However, your settlement amount from him would be reduced by the percentage that you are found to be at fault. This amount could still be substantial.
- Even if you could not make a claim for your personal injuries, you may still be able to file a claim for your property damage against the negligent driver or your own insurance company if you purchased collision insurance.
- Even if you are at fault in causing your injuries, you could file a claim under your medical coverage for payment of your medical expenses if you bought that coverage.
One mistake that you do not want to make is to not pursue your claim for compensation simply because you were not wearing your seat belt. An experienced car accident attorney will have dealt with this problem—and more challenging ones—in negotiating settlements for victims. If you or a family member needs to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation.