Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Can I Receive Compensation in a Car Accident if I Was Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

Posted Friday, June 12, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you are involved in a serious car accident and suffered injuries or losses, you may be wondering if you can still receive compensation if you were not wearing a seat belt. While making the decision to wear a seat belt is always a personal choice, laws require those operating a motor vehicle to always wear a seat belt. If you were pulled over for a traffic offense, you can also receive a citation from a police officer for not wearing a seat belt, and for not having other passengers in your vehicle wear a seat belt as well. However, you still have the right to receive compensation for injuries and losses suffered in a car accident if you are not wearing a seatbelt under certain circumstances.

*Comparative Negligence Laws in Washington *Every state has a different set of laws with respect to accidents involving negligence. The state of Washington has comparative negligence laws, meaning that both parties involved in an accident can be found partially at fault for different parts of the accident. This is legally significant because it means that negligence can be divided between both drivers.

*Comparative Negligence and Seatbelts *Whether you made the decision to wear a seat belt or not likely had no effect on the actual cause of the accident itself. However, your decision not to use a seat belt likely means that your injuries are much worse than if you had made the decision to wear one. In reality, the other driver will attempt to use a seat belt defense to reduce the amount of compensation and damages that they owe you due to their own negligence. Ultimately, the legal argument is that your injuries suffered from the car accident would have inherently been less severe or catastrophic if you had made the decision to wear a seatbelt.

It is important to note that a seat belt defense can also include damages regarding lost wages or pain and suffering along with condensation regarding medical bills. Statistics show consistently that those who make the decision not to wear a seat belt are injured much more severely in car accidents than those who decide to wear one. Therefore, the law in the state of Washington will assign you some responsibility for the severity of your own injuries. However, you still are legally allowed to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party for reckless, careless, or negligent behavior that initially led to the accident.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today*You still have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses even if you were not wearing a seatbelt. The facts and circumstances of every accident or different, and you still may have a vehicle right to recover substantial compensation for your injuries resulting from the car accident Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers with the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.