Buckle up before you drive, even if you are going a short distance. Car accidents happen in a flash with no time to think. Even some of the safest drivers get into car accidents. We say this because we care and wouldn’t want a serious injury to happen because you were not wearing a seatbelt. However, if you got into a car accident and you were not wearing a seatbelt, you may be wondering how seatbelts affect my car accident claim with the insurance company. Keep in mind that even if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt in a car accident, you may still be able to hire an attorney and get maximum compensation. Nonetheless, you may still have other serious consequences.
Forgetting to wear a seatbelt can allow more serious injuries on your body. You would not be as protected in a car crash than you would if you clicked that buckle in place. Furthermore, you still could be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. In Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia (the DMV), it is illegal to drive or ride in a moving vehicle without a seatbelt. Penalties are subject to charges.
Seat belt laws vary from state to state in the U.S. Moreover, it is suggested that Washington, D.C. has the most strict seat belt laws in the United States. Washington, D.C. has larger costs for child seat safety if drivers fail to comply.
Failure to comply with D.C. seat belt laws could result in a $50 fine and furthermore, two points on the driver’s license. The driver is required to make sure all passengers (8 years or older) are buckled up in the front and back seats. Especially when child safety is at risk, D.C. law allows police to stop a vehicle because drivers and riders are not wearing a seatbelt.
Children younger than 8 years old have to be seated in an infant, toddler or booster child seat. Moreover, booster seats must clip in both the lap and shoulder belts. Violating any of these laws in Washington, D.C. could result in hefty ticket charge and points on your drivers license. In Maryland and Virginia, there are similar laws regarding seat belts.
In Maryland, anyone without a seatbelt could cause the driver and all passengers to be be charged $50. For example, each person 16 years or older will have a $50 charge for each unbuckled rider. Charges may be higher if any riders are under the age of 16 years. The driver with a child under the age of 16 will receive a ticket for both. All citations are $83 which includes court costs. Last but not least, Virginia seat belt laws will not allow any rider to forget their seatbelt.
Virginia law requires all riders (18 years old or under) to be secured in a seatbelt or a car seat. The law includes all passengers whether front or back seat. Failure to do so would be the driver’s responsibility. Riders who are 18 years or older may be responsible for their own actions. Anyone who is legally an adult can be ticketed. Seatbelt laws are enforced to protect those from serious injuries, even death. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry. Many people wonder “how seatbelts affect my car accident claim”. There is one main factor that plays a role in DMV personal injury law and that is contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence affects personal injury law in the DMV. What contributory negligence says is that if you are even 1% at fault, you may not be eligible for any compensation for your injuries. This rule affects only a few states/territories in the U.S. including Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.. A case may be dismissed even if the injured party contributed the least amount to the accident. Many people wonder, “Is failing to wear a seatbelt contributing to the car accident I was in”? We unfold the answer in the next paragraph to “how seatbelts affect my car accident claim.”
The short answer is, yes, you still could hire an attorney and get maximum compensation. In fact, the law in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. see not wearing a seatbelt as inadmissible or unqualified evidence against you. This goes for both injury recovery and property damage dealt within civil court. More specifically, the Washington, D.C. courts will not allow counsel to comment on the use or non-use of a seat belt at trial. What does this mean for your car accident case? We can answer your questions concerning, “how seatbelts affect my car accident claim.”
We highly recommend always wearing a seatbelt when in a moving vehicle. However, if you’ve been in a car accident without wearing a seatbelt, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney.
Don’t hesitate. If you have suffered any injuries due to a car accident, contact us with any questions. You may still be compensated for your injuries.
As we have mentioned before, we highly encourage you wear a seat belt because car accidents can cause serious damage. You may suffer worse injuries and encounter lifelong disability if you are in a car accident without a seatbelt. Moreover, you may still receive a ticket for not wearing a seat belt after an accident. So, remember to always buckle up. If you have been injured in a car accident call us at (202) 933-1918. The sooner, the better for your case.