Does Florida Law Require You to Wear a Seatbelt? How Will no Seatbelt affect my Injury Claim?
Every time you get in a car, no matter whether you are the driver or a passenger, you should buckle up. It’s actually the law in Florida as well. Florida Statutes Section 316.614 requires that the driver of a vehicle, front-seat passengers, and anyone under 18 must have a seatbelt on while riding in a car. Failure to wear a seatbelt can result in citations. If you are driving the vehicle and someone under the age of 18 is an unrestrained passenger, you will be charged with a seatbelt violation.
Seatbelts can Save Your Life and Your Orlando Auto Accident Claim
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the national use rate of seatbelts was 89.6% in 2018. Using seatbelts saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017, while 47% of passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in 2017 were not wearing a seatbelt. Had everyone buckled up in 2017, seatbelts could’ve saved approximately 2,549 more lives.
Buckling up can not only save your life, but it can do wonders for your injury claim as well. Your Orlando auto accident attorney will explain liability and potential compensation with you.
Florida follows the legal principle of comparative negligence. What that term means is that your total compensation award is reduced by the percentage of negligence you share. If it’s determined that you are 10% at fault for your injuries due to not wearing a seatbelt and the other driver is 90% at fault, your total compensation award would be reduced by 10%. If it’s determined that not wearing a seatbelt didn’t contribute to your injuries, then your award would not be reduced.
How the Seatbelt can Protect You in an Accident
A seatbelt can save your life, but only if you wear it every time and wear it correctly. To wear your seatbelt properly, the lap belt should be around your hips and you need to wear your shoulder belt across your chest. Don’t assume the airbags will be a substitute for wearing a seatbelt. When you wear your seatbelt, it can keep you from being ejected from the motor vehicle during a crash, and it can keep you from being thrown against other passengers, the windshield, or the steering wheel.
How Will the Insurance Company Know if I had a Seatbelt on or Not?
First off, the insurance company will look at the accident report to see if it says the driver and passengers were restrained. There is also the paramedic report if applicable. They also look at medical records to see if your discussion with medical providers support what is listed on the other reports. In some cases, it may be necessary to bring in an expert who can testify whether or not it was likely you were restrained.
Contact a Florida Auto Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence — whether you were wearing your seatbelt or not — it’s important to speak with an Orlando auto accident attorney right away. Contact the Payer Law today to schedule an initial consultation.