It’s Important To Wear Your Seatbelt.

June 27, 2014

I have been an attorney in Buffalo and Olean for over twenty-five years and have repeatedly seen the results of accidents where people are not wearing seatbelts. Not wearing a seatbelt increases your risk of personal injury in a motor vehicle accident.  While staying safe is more important than recovering money in a personal injury case, choosing not to wear a seatbelt also may lower the amount you can recover in damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

Under New York State law, if a person was not wearing a seatbelt and the defense chooses to raise the issue, evidence of not wearing a seatbelt may be used to prove that the person would not have been injured as badly if a seatbelt had been worn.

If the defense chooses to raise this issue, they must comply with certain rules.  First, they must have informed the injured person and the court beforehand that they will be using this defense.  Second, they must submit evidence showing how wearing a seatbelt would have changed the injuries.  In most cases, this means that they will need an expert who can provide details regarding how wearing a seatbelt would have resulted in reduced injury.

Everyone should wear their seatbelt. If you’ve suffered a personal injury in a car accident – whether wearing a seatbelt or not – you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. I would be happy to discuss your case with you at 716-300-0000.