Florida law requires everyone to wear their seatbelt when driving or riding in a passenger vehicle. There are numerous studies that show seatbelt saves lives, and not wearing one puts the person at risk for death or serious injury.
So what happens if you get into a car accident and were killed or seriously injured? Can you or your family still claim benefits? After all, if the studies are correct, wearing one might have changed the outcome.
We hear about accidents with no seatbelt often.
A 37-year-old woman died Sunday morning, February 9, 2020, when her SUV was hit by another car sending her off the road and flipping her over. Police say that a 32-year-old man attempted to pass her on I-75 just north of Big Bend Road around 7 a.m. when he clipped her car’s back bumper sending the car onto the grass on its hood.
The man fled the scene, and after his truck shut down, he then ran on foot but was later captured by police. He is charged with DUI manslaughter, felony leaving the scene and driving with a suspended license involving death.
Seatbelt liability in Florida:
While the consequences for breaking a vehicle code is a fine and maybe points on your license, Florida civil law can’t look at a code violation by itself to determine negligence, rather someone is negligent when they fail to use the same due care a reasonable person would use in the same or similar circumstance.
The law also looks at both drivers and assigns a percentage of fault for both. So the jury can assign some of the blame for the victim for not wearing a seatbelt, however, if the other driver caused the crash by—let’s say—running a red light or driving impaired, then that driver will bear most of the blame.
Insurance Companies may try to blame you.
Unfortunately, sometimes the insurance adjuster will tell the victim that he or she can’t get compensation if they weren’t wearing a seatbelt, but we know that’s not the law. The bottom line is that insurance companies could tell you anything to keep from having to pay out on a claim or pay as little as possible.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, contact our Tampa Car Accident Lawyers even if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. We will answer your questions, make recommendations and provide you with a free, confidential evaluation of your injury claim, all without obligation to use our legal services.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Everyone at Hancock Injury Attorneys, from our receptionist and paralegals to our attorneys, is committed to providing our clients with exceptional legal representation and client service.
Hancock Injury Attorneys has been representing clients in Tampa and surrounding communities since 1996.