Seat Belts and Injuries

William E. Johnson
July 18, 2013

It is always a good idea to wear a seatbelt, not only does it protect you from injury, but it also helps protect your ability to recover from negligent drivers.

Generally, all front seat passengers must be restrained by a seatbelt according to Florida Statutes section 316.614. Backseat passengers are not covered by the law but if a collision occurs failure to wear a seatbelt may prevent a passenger from fully recovering for their injuries.

This is because under Florida personal injury law, if a person is injured by the negligence of another, but is also negligent themselves, their ability to recover will be reduced in proportion by which their damages were caused by their negligence. This legal principal is known as comparative negligence. This means that a backseat passenger, who experiences injuries such as a broken nose or broken arm, may not recover for those damages if those injuries could have been prevented by properly wearing a seat belt. If a jury finds that you are 40% responsible for failing to wear your seatbelt, your damages will be reduced by 40%.

The purpose of the law of comparative negligence is to prevent individuals from making dangerous situations worse by not taking reasonable precautions. It takes less than 5 seconds to put a seatbelt on, and seat belts are mandatory equipment in all passenger vehicles. For these reasons make sure you buckle up when you hit the road.

Finding comparative fault in car accident lawsuits is complicated; having an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney on your side can make a huge difference in the efficient processing of your case. If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident contact the West Palm Beach car accident attorney at the Law Offices of William E. Johnson P.A. Schedule a free consultation by calling 561-832-4848 today.