Wearing a seatbelt is so important that it’s codified in law, but not every driver follows the rules 100 percent of the time. If you’re unlucky enough to get into an accident while not wearing a seatbelt, it could seriously injure or kill you—and it might affect your personal injury claim, too.
When you’re involved in an accident, make sure that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible, then call a personal injury attorney. While failing to wear a seatbelt may not necessarily bar your claim, it could certainly limit how much you’re able to recover. A personal injury attorney will be crucial to proving your case.
Ohio Seatbelt Laws
In Ohio, every driver and front seat passenger is required to wear a seatbelt. Children must ride in a car seat, booster seat or other approved safety device. Children ages eight to 15 are also required to wear a seatbelt. In short, if you’re over 15 and sitting in the back or middle seats, you can forego a seatbelt—but it’s not wise. Seatbelts reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries by 45 percent, and serious injury by 50 percent. Why not take advantage of one of your vehicle’s most important safety features?
Seatbelts and Comparative Negligence
One reason that everyone in your vehicle should buckle up: if you’re injured in an accident where you’re not wearing your seatbelt, it could trigger a comparative negligence analysis. Comparative negligence is a legal concept where, when both parties bear some degree of fault, they’re assigned a percentage. Any damages they receive are reduced by the percentage of which they’re at fault.
Wearing a seatbelt is not only the law for drivers, children and front seat passengers, it’s also the best way to prevent injuries. That means that not wearing your seatbelt could reduce how much money you can recover, even if the other driver was at fault. In fact, if a court finds that your negligence is equal or greater than 50 percent, you won’t recover anything at all.
While no one particularly enjoys wearing a seatbelt, it’s an important safety precaution. You never know when you’re going to be in an accident. You could rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, property damage and lost wages. Protect yourself against serious injury, death and massive debt just by buckling up.
Discuss Your Car Accident Case with an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer
When you’re injured in a car accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries, lost wages and more. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.614.9524 for a consultation, and we’ll work to get what you deserve.