Do you buckle up? Every time? Recent studies show that seatbelt use has a significant impact on injury potential from automobile accidents. Also, not wearing your seatbelt can affect a personal injury claim.
Seatbelts Reduce Injury
NHTSA reports that seatbelt use in 2008 was at an all-time high of 83 percent and correspondently, the percentage of fatalities from car accidents have declined since 2000.
Much of the increased use of seatbelts is attributed to individual State laws which require seatbelt use (such as Texas), and also the success of the “click it or ticket” advertising campaign.
In a Texas auto accident lawsuit, the nonuse of a seatbelt is an issue and the judge or jury may attribute fault for the injury to the injured automobile accident victim who did nothing wrong in the car wreck but just was not wearing his or her seatbelt.
Negligence in Texas
The negligence law in Texas apportions fault for either the accident or causing the actual injury.
If the judge or jury attributes some percentage of the injury for not wearing a seatbelt, that finding will reduce the money award to the victim. If over 50 percent of the injury is attributed to not wearing of a seatbelt, the victim will not recover money from the car accident lawsuit in Texas, even when the person was not a fault for causing the car accident.
In Texas, it against the law not to buckle up, and studies show seatbelts reduce injury potential and the risk of death in automobile accidents. Not only can a seat belt reduce the risk of injury, but failure to wear a belt can hurt a personal injury case.
Call an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas for a free, no obligation consultation.