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What if I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt?

Wearing your seatbelt is just common sense. It’s a must any time you get into a vehicle. Failing to buckle up could have a negative impact on your injury claim.

Kentucky actually has what’s called a primary seatbelt law, which means that law enforcement can stop and cite any motorist who isn’t wearing a seatbelt, or for any passenger in that vehicle that isn’t belted. While it may not be likely that a police officer will pull anyone over just for not wearing a seatbelt, it’s still the law.

What’s more, seatbelts are proven to save lives. Kentucky’s Department of Transportation commissioned a study that indicated that wearing a seatbelt prevents the loss of 62 lives, 740 serious injuries, and results in a cost savings of $148 million every year.

If you’ve been hurt in a car crash and you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, your potential settlement recovery could suffer as a result. You have a legal duty to protect yourself on the roadways, and that duty includes wearing a safety belt.

The “seat belt defense” is a thorny issue in Kentucky. Failing to wear a seatbelt doesn’t have anything to do with the cause of the car crash. It doesn’t have anything to do with mitigating or reducing your potential damages either, since damages can only be suffered during or after a crash. A negligent driver’s ability to ask the jury to reduce your damages because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt typically depends on the circumstances, but if your case goes to trial, a jury is allowed to reduce a person’s damages due to his or her failure to wear a seat belt, with some exceptions.

Contact us after an accident

If you were seriously injured and didn’t have a seat belt on, you compensation could be reduced. That doesn’t mean you have to accept the company line from the liability insurer, though. Give us a call at 502-633-6002 – it’s free – and we’ll help walk you through the process.