Does Not Wearing Your Seat belt Affect Your Auto Insurance Claim?

A seatbelt is designed for driver and passenger safety during collisions and other auto accidents. However, not everyone is vigilant about this safety measure, which is also a law. Moreover, if you’re found not wearing a seatbelt in a collision, it might affect your auto insurance claim.

Keep reading the blog post to learn more about seat belt defense and the legal consequences of not wearing a seatbelt.

Seat Belt Defense Law and Arguments

In the United States, around 15 states allow using seat belt defense. The defendants’ legal team uses this tactic to reduce the insurance claim from the injured party.

The argument revolves around the fact that wearing a seatbelt is a law devised for passenger and driver safety. However, if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, you are partially responsible for the damages. Hence, the defendant’s attorney uses two different arguments to reduce the amount of insurance money payable by the defendant.

Damage Mitigation

Under this theory, lawyers argue that the injured party could have mitigated the damages that occurred to them by wearing a seatbelt. Hence, the driver of the other vehicle, which in these cases would be the defendant, is only partially responsible. The injured party must also be held responsible for their actions, and the court should reduce insurance claims.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is the theory comparing both parties’ actions to assess which is guiltier. Hence, if not wearing a seatbelt was the primary cause of the accident, the injured party would be more responsible than the defendant. In such cases, the insurance claim is reduced significantly based on the percentage of responsibility.

Legal Consequences of Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Not wearing a seatbelt can get you into trouble through accidents and with the law. The average fine in Massachusetts for being caught without a seatbelt is $25. However, since the offense doesn’t go on paper, you are okay with your insurance company and don’t need to worry about surcharges.

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Visit our website for more information about car insurance, or contact us to get a quote.