- January 20, 2017
- In accidents
Seat belts are one of the most important safety features in your car. A seat belt can save your life in the event of a serious accident. It is the one thing you will wish you had not forgotten to do or fasten if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
A seat belt can also play an important role in an accident with regard to your legal claim. If the other party can prove that you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of an accident, it can negatively impact your claim and ability to obtain full compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.
Background on California’s Seat Belt Law
The California Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires that anyone riding in a private car to be secured by a seat belt. The law has different requirements for passengers riding in a limousine or a taxicab. In these vehicles, only the front seat passengers are required to buckle up.
California law also holds drivers responsible in making sure that any passenger who is 16 years old or older in their car is secured with a seat belt. Drivers are also responsible for making sure children under 16 years of age who are not accompanied by a parent are buckled up. If a parent accompanies the child, then it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure their child is belted.
Explaining the Seat Belt Defense
Under California law, if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another motorist and it can be proven that you were not wearing a seat belt, then comparative negligence applies. This means that if the motorist who caused the accident can prove that you were not buckled up at the time of the accident, you may be held partially at fault for your injuries.
Once the jury hears the both sides’ arguments, it will determine the percentage of fault for both parties in the accident. In other words, you may only recover a small portion of what your claim is worth because you were not wearing a seat belt. As such, it is important that you always wear a seatbelt while riding in a car in California.
Call an Orange County Car Accident Attorney Today!
The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping our injured clients reach the best monetary settlement when they are involved in any type of accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and seriously injured, our experienced Orange County car accident attorneys are available to personally review your case. Call us at 1-888-848-5048 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.