Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What if the accident was my fault?”
If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte, Lake Norman, or elsewhere in North Carolina, you may be wondering, “Does the fact that I was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash affect my claim?”
The short answer is, “No, it does not.” In North Carolina, if you were not at fault for causing your car crash, your failure to wear a seatbelt cannot affect your ability to seek full compensation for your losses and damages.
Why Do I Need a North Carolina Car Accident Attorney?
In order to be entitled to the full compensation, you must demonstrate evidence of the other driver’s negligence. For this reason, it is vital to consult with a North Carolina car accident attorney to help you recover damages if you were not wearing a seatbelt.
If you failed to buckle up at the time of your accident, the insurance company might attempt to pay you as little as possible or deny your car accident claim altogether. The insurer may argue that you are responsible for failing to mitigate your injuries by not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Your attorney will help you negotiate with the insurance company and protect your rights following a car crash.
Note: Under N.C.G.S. § 20-135.2A, wearing a seatbelt is mandatory for passenger vehicle occupants in the front and back seats.
Does the Fact That I Was Not Wearing a Seatbelt Affect My Compensation?
While wearing a seatbelt can help save your life or mitigate your injuries in the event of a motor vehicle crash, some drivers and passengers choose not to buckle up while others forget to wear a seatbelt.
If you were involved in a car crash caused by another party’s fault, you might be concerned that your failure to wear a seatbelt could affect your eligibility for compensation.
In fact, if the insurance company finds out that you were not buckled up at the time of the crash, they may argue that your injuries would not have been so severe if you wore a seatbelt.
The insurer may use the argument in an attempt to deny your claim or minimize the compensation amount. When this happens, it is essential to contact a North Carolina car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Under North Carolina law, an injured party is entitled to financial compensation if there is evidence that another party was negligent. Whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt does not play a role in what caused your car accident.
For this reason, as long as you and your lawyer can prove that another motorist was at fault for causing the accident, you can still potentially receive the full compensation even if you failed to buckle up at the time of the collision.
North Carolina Law Prohibits the Seatbelt Defense
What many North Carolinians do not realize is that state law prohibits the use of a seatbelt defense to limit one’s liability. In other words, the negligent party cannot use evidence of the injured party’s failure to wear a seatbelt in a car accident case.
If you were not buckled up at the time of the crash and fear that your failure to wear a seatbelt could affect your ability to recover damages, talk to our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Schedule a consultation with our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to discuss your situation. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video or phone consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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