Oregon is one of 16 states that currently allow the seatbelt defense. This means if you are in a car accident and you were not wearing your seatbelt, the other party’s lawyer could attempt to reduce your settlement amount. Let’s take a look at some of the major implications of not wearing your seatbelt.
Using Your Seatbelt Against You
If the case ends up in court, you should expect the other lawyer to bring up the fact that you were not wearing your seatbelt. They may even use expert witnesses who can speak about the dangers of not wearing seatbelts and how they affect the outcome of a car accident in order to make the jury see their side of the case.
Reduction of Payout
A settlement that is charged with the seatbelt defense can be reduced by up to 5%. That means if you get into an accident while not wearing your seatbelt, you might find yourself faced with less money in compensation for your injuries.
Cause of Injuries
If the defense can prove you were not wearing your seatbelt and the injuries sustained were a direct result of not wearing your seatbelt, you might be forced to take a smaller payout settlement. While the reduction is limited to 5% by statute, juries often punish the victim by awarding them less money.
If a passenger in your car was not buckled but sustained injuries because they were not wearing a seatbelt, you can use the seatbelt defense. However, it is part of your job as the driver to make sure your passengers are safe. This could mean a judge or jury may see this as the case and will let the injured passenger sue the driver for negligence.
If you have suffered from a seatbelt injury, please contact our offices today. Our trained team of lawyers is ready and willing to help you solve your case. We have years of experience backing our decisions, letting you know you are getting the best help possible.