The Consequences of not wearing a seat belt

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If you were involved in a car accident and someone else was to blame for the accident then you are entitled to make a personal injury claim to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained and any losses that stem from that injury (such as loss of earnings or care costs).

However, if you were involved in a car accident and you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time, although you can still make a personal injury claim, not wearing a seat belt may result in your compensation being reduced on the basis that there was contributory negligence on your part.

Contributory negligence is where you are found to have some way contributed to your accident or injury. So, in the case of seat belts, if you weren’t wearing a seat belt the person who caused the accident may allege that, had you been wearing one, you would not have been injured, or that your injuries would have been less severe and the compensation you receive should therefore be reduced accordingly.

If it can be proved through medical evidence that wearing a seat belt would have made no difference to the injuries you suffered then there should be no reduction in your compensation. If the seat belt would have prevented you suffering any injury at all, then the reduction can reach 25% of the award of compensation but it cannot be more than this.

The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.