The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Can You Still Get Compensated If You Didn't Have Your Seatbelt on During a Car Crash?

Can You Still Get Compensated If You Didn't Have Your Seatbelt on During a Car Crash?

By Christopher Hoffmann  Apr. 27, 2020 12:26p

Car accidents are not always caused by only one person or only one factor. Often times, it’s a cumulation of factors that lead to an unfortunate event like this. If you are the victim of a car accident and you were not wearing your seat belt when it happened, you have every reason to worry about your compensation being denied because of it.

Wearing a seat belt not only can save your life and reduce your personal injuries, but it can also reduce your percentage of fault in case you get in an accident. Depending on the state you are in, this can mean getting a higher or lower settlement, or even not getting a settlement at all if you are found to be at fault.

The Seat Belt Defense

In Missouri and 14 other states, the seat belt defense can be used to reduce your damages in case you were not wearing one at the time of the accident. Insurance companies have the right to reduce the settlement if it's found that you were not wearing your seatbelt. It will also give them an advantage if your case goes to court.

Missouri allows the seat belt defense, but with a limit of 1% fault to be put against you. If the insurance company tries to exceed this limit, your attorney should notify the court or the jury about it. If the case did not go to trial yet, you can demand a renegotiation of the settlement by disputing the insurance company’s offer or denial.

Comparative Fault

Missouri is also a state of pure comparative fault. This means that your settlement will be adjusted according to the percentage of fault that you are holding. The proportion in which you and the other driver share the fault will determine the settlement amount and it will be proven with hard evidence like photographs, expert witness accounts, eyewitness testimonies, police reports, medical reports, etc.

So, even if you were not wearing a seat belt when your accident happened, you are entitled to seek out compensation for your personal damage and injuries. First of all, get checked by a doctor as soon as possible, and get in touch with a St. Louis car accident attorney as soon as your health allows you to.

Car accident cases can often be complicated and may last for months until a settlement is reached, but knowing your rights and pursuing compensation is going to be far less stressful with an experienced attorney on your side.

Have You the Victim of a Car Accident?

Whether you were wearing a seat belt or not, you should contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney about your case. Most car accident attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee, meaning that you will only pay them if and when you get a settlement.

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.
7751 Carondelet Ave #601
St. Louis, MO
Phone: (314) 361-4242

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