An accident is a sudden and terribly violent event. Although you may have taken every driving precaution you can, to avoid an accident, there is no way to control the actions of other people. The best you can hope for is that you will not be hurt too badly if you are ever in an accident. And one of the best ways to ensure this, is to wear a seatbelt. Failure to wear a seatbelt can lead to serious injury. It can also make it harder to claim compensation after the accident. No matter the circumstances that led to your accident and the injuries you sustained as a result of it, you should defend your rights and pursue your interests. A car accident attorney can help you do so.
Wearing a Seatbelt is the Law in Texas
It is the law in Texas to always wear a seatbelt. Why? Because seatbelts save lives. It is estimated that in 2016, seatbelts prevented an estimated 14,668 fatalities. Wearing a seatbelt is wise—both for personal and financial reasons. It can save your life if you are in an accident, and it will show that you did everything possible to protect yourself against injury.
But You Can Still Recover for Your Injuries if You Were Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Under Texas law individuals that have acted in a way that contributed to their injuries, such as not wearing their seatbelt, can still often recover money for their injuries. The amount that they can receive is somewhat dependent on the circumstances of the auto accident. It is important to have an experienced Texas car accident attorney, who can often help you receive monies for your injuries even if you were not wearing a seatbelt.
Could Your Compensation be Reduced?
If you were not wearing a seatbelt it can negatively impact your personal injury claim. Texas is a modified comparative fault state. Under this law, you and the person who caused the accident can share fault and be liable for it. Although you may still qualify for compensation from the other party, their percentage of fault for your injuries can be held to below 50%.
If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, the defendant can allege that you are partly to blame for the injuries you sustained. The court may render judgment in their favor and decide that the two of you should split the fault between you.
This can be devastating if your injuries are serious. Your medical bills may already be high by the time your personal injury claim is adjudicated. And you may need further treatment, rehabilitation therapy, and medication to fully recover from your injuries. The insurance company of the other driver will try to pay as little as possible. They may get away with giving you a pittance of what you need to settle your medical bills and make up for loss wages. The defendant’s insurers will have a right to examine your medical records. And they may have their own medical experts testify that your injuries would not have been so bad had you worn a seatbelt. If the court agrees, your settlement amount can be significantly diminished.
A Car Accident Attorney is Important to Maximize Your Compensation
Hiring a car accident attorney can help you counter this common defense. You may not have been wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, but it does not mean that you should be forced into financial strain and ruin, due to the defendant’s negligence. Experienced car accident lawyers know how to get around the not-wearing-a-seatbelt defense. They will strengthen your case and help you get a fair settlement from the insurance company. All is not loss because you were not wearing a seatbelt. You can get the proper representation and advocacy you need from an attorney who specializes in these sorts of cases. You deserve to be heard and to have your case judged reasonably and fairly.
If you need a car accident attorney, then you should call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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