Seatbelts and Car Accidents

In 2009, the state of Florida passed a law stating that failure to wear a seatbelt is a primary offense. This means that, unlike texting and driving, you can be pulled over just for not wearing a seatbelt. All passengers under the age of 18 must also wear a seat belt or otherwise be restrained by a car seat. Although the monetary penalties for seat belt infractions are minor, the cost of being in an accident without a seat belt is quite high. When not wearing a seat belt, the risk of serious injuries such as head, neck, and spinal cord injuries increase dramatically. You also run the risk of being ejected from the vehicle after a crash. That’s why it is important to seek out an experienced Sarasota car accident attorney if you have been in an accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an aggressive Sarasota car accident attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today to start recovering your damages. Our primary goal is to ensure you receive the medical attention you need while we handle your insurance claims and make sure you are justly compensated for your injuries.

Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to car accidents. This means, regardless of fault, each person’s own insurance will cover their medical bills and a portion of lost wages. This insurance is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and is required in the state of Florida for every driver. However, if you are injured in excess of your PIP, you do have the option to seek damages from the other driver.

The state of Florida awards damages based on a standard called “pure comparative negligence”. This means that potential damages may be reduced if the injured party is found to be partially at fault. For example, Person A makes an illegal turn and hits Person B, seriously injuring Person B. However, Person B was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, dramatically increasing their chances of injury. Person B is found to be 20% at fault in the accident, and they receive only 80% of the total damages. Failure to use a seat belt is a criminal offense, and it may be viewed as criminal negligence in the eyes of the law.

Seatbelt Defects

Failure to use seat belts is not the only issue that appears when connecting seat belts to accidents. Seat belt defects and malfunctions are unfortunately common, and have been traced to a number of fatalities. In this case, even though you may have been using the seat belt perfectly, a design or manufacturing flaw rendered it defective. These are a few of the most common seat belt defects: spontaneous unlatching, false latching, failure to lock, or defects in the seat belt webbing.

Call Pallegar Law, P.A.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, seek out the advice of an experienced Sarasota car accident attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. Call 941-893-5816 for a free initial consultation.

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