Millions of people are injured every year in the United States due to vehicle accidents. Wearing your seatbelt when traveling is not only the law, it can also help reduce the risk of dying in the event of a collision or accident by 50 percent according to the Center for Disease Control.
Seatbelts help protect the driver and passengers from being ejected from the vehicle. In fact people not wearing their seatbelt are 30 percent more likely to be thrown from the vehicle than those that buckle up.
The state of Washington requires children under the age of 13 to ride in the back seat (when it is practical to do so). The law also states for kids under the height of 4’9” to use the appropriate restraints when traveling. These laws were created to help keep you and your children safe so it is vital to remember to buckle up and make sure your children are wearing their seatbelts correctly.
In addition to safety, wearing a seatbelt can also help your case if you were involved in a car accident and will be filing a personal injuries claim. If you were rear-ended by another vehicle and were not wearing a seatbelt, the other party could try and attribute your injuries to the lack of using a seatbelt.
Washington is one of the states that does not have a no seatbelt defense law in place. The code states, “Failure to comply with the requirements of this section does not constitute negligence, nor may failure to wear a safety belt assembly be admissible as evidence of negligence in any civil action.” Even so, insurance companies may still try to prove your choice of not wearing a seatbelt as negligence, and it could negatively impact the amount of compensation you receive.
If an insurance company contacts you following your accident, it is best to only speak with them with legal counsel present. Your lawyer will advise you on what information to share and ensure you are not providing any details that may weaken your case. Personal injury lawyers are also well versed in these types of situations so they can help assess your damages, pain and suffering, medical bills and other factors of your claim. By working with a professional, you can be sure any settlement you receive matches the seriousness of the accident.
Wearing your seatbelt only takes a few seconds and can help protect you and your loved ones from serious injury and even death. If you were involved in a car accident that resulted in injuries, contact a lawyer experienced in personal injuries. Regardless of whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt, personal injury lawyers can help answer any questions you may have and assist you in filing a personal injury case.