The simple answer to this question is yes. You can file a lawsuit for injuries you suffered even if you were not wearing your seatbelt. However, even if you prove that the other driver was negligent and that the injuries suffered resulted from the accident, you will still need to deal with another issue. The driver’s insurance company will most probably hire an expert witness to help develop evidence to the effect that the injuries incurred in the accident would not have been as serious if the plaintiff had worn a seatbelt. This in essence will determine the proportion of the responsibility for the injuries that were due to your negligence in not wearing a seatbelt, and the driver who caused the accident, as well as the driver’s insurance company, will not have to pay the difference.
Therefore, if it can be determined that a serious car accident in Chandler would have resulted only in a two day hospital stay and a broken leg if an accident victim had been wearing a seatbelt, but because he or she was not wearing a seatbelt, the injured person then received a serious brain injury, the insurance company would not have to pay anything for the brain injury. This is, of course, a hypothetical situation, yet it does show the financial disadvantages of not wearing a seatbelt in any car accident claim against a negligent driver.
As Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., we understand and sympathize with people who come to us after an accident that they did not cause but in which they were not wearing a seatbelt. Of course, they wish they had worn their seatbelt. They did not wear their seatbelt in this situation, but would still like to make a personal injury claim. The claim may still be viable even if you did not wear your seatbelt, as the burden of proof lies with the driver who was at fault to show that the injuries sustained could have been lessened or prevented by wearing a seatbelt. To learn more about what can be done regarding your specific situation, please call Breyer Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation.