Seatbelts and insurance claims

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury |

A common saying points out that seatbelts save lives. Those words prove true in many accidents, as seatbelts may prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected or hitting the windshield. However, not every New York commuter wears a seatbelt, and these persons could suffer severe injuries in a crash. Afterward, the victims might wonder if not wearing a seatbelt affects personal injury claims adversely.

Seatbelts and accident claims

Although wearing a seatbelt cannot guarantee someone won’t suffer harm in a vehicle collision, a seatbelt might reduce the severity of the injury. If someone forgets to wear their seatbelt and experiences a catastrophic injury, problems might arise when they file an insurance claim. The insurance company may suggest the victim contributed to their harm by not wearing a seatbelt.

So, suppose the insurance company believes the victim contributed to 25% of their injuries because they didn’t wear a seatbelt. In that case, the provider may attempt to reduce the settlement by a comparable amount. Still, the victim or their representative would negotiate a preferred settlement amount, and the insurance company may increase their initial offer.

Preventive steps

Following safe practices on the road and engaging in defensive driving could reduce the risk of injury. Since car accidents might happen no matter how safely someone drives, wearing a seatbelt could help prevent catastrophic or fatal injuries. Persons who survive serious car crashes might face substantial financial repercussions.

A lawsuit or insurance claim may help a victim recover their losses. Failing to wear a seatbelt could undermine the ability to procure the highest settlement or award necessary to cover those costs. Not wearing a seatbelt might also lead to worse injuries and possible fatalities.