Can You Seek Compensation After A Car Accident If You Weren’t Wearing A Seatbelt?
While motorists and their passengers in Nevada are legally required to wear a seatbelt at all times, many people do not buckle up. Failing to wear a seatbelt may increase the risk of injuries and complicate your ability to obtain compensation.
But can you seek compensation after a car accident if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt? Or does Nevada law prevent those who weren’t buckled up from recovering damages? Our Spring Valley car accident lawyer at Cameron Law can explain the laws surrounding seatbelt use and help you determine how your failure to buckle up can affect your compensation.
Seatbelt Laws in Nevada
Nevada has a primary seatbelt law, meaning all passengers and drivers in a vehicle must wear a seatbelt at all times, regardless of where they are sitting. Failing to wear a seatbelt is a traffic violation and is punishable by a fine. The law was passed to increase safety for all drivers and passengers in the event of an accident.
Seatbelt Use and Compensation Claims
In Nevada, failure to wear a seatbelt does not automatically mean you lose your right to seek compensation if you are injured in an accident.
If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, the defendant’s insurance company may argue that your injuries would have been less severe or non-existent if you were wearing your seatbelt. This is known as the “seatbelt” defense.
However, Nevada is one of the few states that prohibit parties from using the “seatbelt” defense in personal injury cases. Under Nevada Revised Statutes § 484D. 495 (4)(b), one’s failure to wear a seatbelt cannot be considered negligence in a personal injury case or any other civil action.
The Dangers of Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Even though your failure to wear a seatbelt does not prevent you from seeking compensation after a car accident in Nevada, the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt cannot be overstated:
1. Increased Risk of Injuries
Not wearing a seatbelt while driving or being a passenger in a vehicle increases the chances of severe injuries in the event of an accident. When a car suddenly stops in a collision, loose objects, and even passengers, can continue moving at the car’s speed. Without a seatbelt, the force of the sudden stop can result in severe injuries to internal organs, critical tissues, and even fatal wounds. Seatbelts help distribute the force of a crash, reducing the likelihood of serious internal injuries.
2. Ejection from the Vehicle
Not using a seatbelt increases the possibility of ejection from the vehicle in the event of an accident, which is often fatal. In the event of an accident, unbelted individuals can be thrown from the car and into the path of other vehicles, resulting in severe and life-changing injuries. Ejection from the vehicle is the cause of many fatalities in accidents, significantly reducing the survival rate.
3. Increased Medical Expenses
Car accidents can result in high medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses. Not wearing a seatbelt can increase the cost of medical expenses, as it increases the likelihood of severe injuries. A combination of medical bills, lost income, and other expenses can result in a financial burden, leading to insurmountable debts.
4. Breaking the Law
Nevada law requires the use of seatbelts while driving or riding in a vehicle. If you do not wear your seatbelt, you are breaking the law and can face a fine or other consequences if caught by law enforcement.
Get a Case Review from a Lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident and the other party says that your failure to wear a seatbelt means you cannot seek compensation for your injuries and losses, contact Cameron Law right away. Our lawyer can help you fight for the compensation to which you are entitled under Nevada law even if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt during the accident. Call 702-745-4545 for a free case review.