The Impact of Failing to Wear a Seat Belt

Despite widespread laws enforcing the requirement of utilizing seatbelts while in automobiles and safety devices in new vehicles promoting seatbelt use, it is estimated that more than 10% of all vehicle occupants still do not routinely utilize seatbelts.  Many accident victims worry that their failure to wear a seatbelt might impact their ability to recover for the losses they experience following a car accident – even preventing any recovery whatsoever…

Several states throughout the country employ a statutory defense known as a “seatbelt law” that can bar or reduce the amount of compensation a person receives for their losses if they were not wearing their seatbelt at the time a crash occurs.  This is true even when the other driver caused the accident.  Many of the so-called “seat belt” laws use legal principles such as “comparative negligence,” an argument that the injury victim is at fault for their injuries, to justify the defense.  Others statutes rely on a concept known as “failure to mitigate” one’s losses, a legal concept that requires injury victims to take reasonable measures to limit their losses, to deny fair compensation to injury victims.

Thankfully, Illinois does not have any “seatbelt law.”  In fact, in most instances, information about an injury victim’s failure to wear a seatbelt will not even be admissible as evidence at trial.   

Guiding Your Path to Justice
Even though seatbelt evidence is largely immaterial to an injury victim’s ability to recover for their losses in Illinois, insurance companies will do anything to avoid paying fair compensation to injury victims.  It is crucial that victims of car accidents consult with experienced attorneys to ensure fair compensation for them and their families.  If you or your family member were injured in a car accident, please consider allowing  the attorneys at the Feagans Law Group to Guide Your Path to Justice.