Personal Injury Lawyer Assists Georgia Drivers with Seatbelt Safety and Injury Claims
In the state of Georgia, passengers and drivers are required to wear seatbelts in a vehicle. If you don’t wear your seatbelt and get into an accident, you may wonder how the failure to buckle-up will affect your case.
Well, here’s the answer – if you fail to wear a seatbelt and you sue for your injuries or file an insurance claim, the amount you receive will be greatly reduced – if not erased entirely.
This is because the state of Georgia, as well as other states in the US, uses comparative negligence laws when determining fault and the amount of compensation a victim can receive from a claim.
A Seatbelt Could Save a Life
Sadly, a vast majority of people who are killed in automobile accidents are killed because they did not wear this safety device. On the flip-side, thousands of lives are saved each year from the use of seatbelts. These two facts alone should make it crystal clear how important it is to buckle-up before heading out on the road.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Georgia uses modified comparative negligence instead of pure comparative negligence. That means that a victim can still recover damages, even if they were partially at fault. However, you must be 49 percent or less at fault to collect compensation – and your compensation is reduced by the amount of fault assigned to you. For instance, if you were found to be 10 percent at fault and you received a $100,000 settlement, you would lose $10,000 of that settlement.
Failing to Wear a Seatbelt Doesn’t Mean You Cannot Receive Compensation
It is important to note that failing to wear a seatbelt does not mean that you cannot file a personal injury claim, or that your claim is invalid. Instead, it means that you must now prove– despite the fact that some of your injuries may have been caused or exacerbated by the lack of a seatbelt – that the majority of the fault was still on defendant.
So keep in mind that if you did not cause the accident, then you DO have the right to seek compensation. However, your injury attorney will first need to establish that the defendant was responsible for the accident. Next, he or she will work to prove that while you did not wear your seatbelt, that was not the core cause of your injuries.
Be prepared for the defense. If you failed to wear a seatbelt, the defense will likely focus heavily on that fact – and claim that most of your injuries stemmed from your own negligence.
Naturally, any injuries you sustained specific to the lack of a seatbelt may be used when assigning fault towards you. That is why it is important that you hire a Georgia injury lawyer to present your case. A personal injury attorney can help prove that the defendant was actually at fault for the accident – and that your failure to wear a seatbelt was a relatively minor contributor to your injuries.
Speak with a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Today
When you are in a situation where the other side tries to put some of the blame on you, it is best to consult a law firm that has experience with insurance companies and comparative negligence laws in this state.
To schedule your free case evaluation, call us at 404-991-5950 or request more information online.