What Will Happen if I Have a Car Accident in California and I’m Not Wearing My Seat Belt?
If you are involved in a car accident in California and you were not wearing a seatbelt, you can be ticketed. Under California’s seatbelt law, all front-seat passengers and drivers are required to wear a seatbelt while driving. If you are pulled over for another violation or involved in an accident, a law enforcement officer can issue you a citation and a fine for not wearing a seatbelt.
Additionally, not wearing a seatbelt can negatively impact your car accident claim. Evidence of not wearing a seatbelt can be used by insurance companies to argue that you were at fault for your injuries or damages, as wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of injury in an accident.
If you are involved in a car accident in California, not wearing your seatbelt could also affect your personal injury claim. Under California law, the failure to wear a seatbelt can be considered comparative negligence, which can reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
California follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that if you are partially at fault for an accident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but are found to be 25% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by $25,000 to $75,000.
What Is the Impact of Not Wearing a Seatbelt on a Car Accident Claim?
Not wearing a seatbelt is a violation of California law and could be considered comparative negligence in a personal injury claim. If the other driver’s attorney can prove that you would have suffered less severe injuries if you had been wearing a seatbelt, they may argue that your failure to wear a seatbelt was a contributing factor to your injuries and reduce your compensation accordingly.
The seatbelt law in California requires all front-seat passengers and drivers to wear a seatbelt while driving. Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat, unless they are 4’9″ or taller. Failure to wear a seatbelt is considered a “secondary offense,” meaning a law enforcement officer cannot pull over a driver solely for not wearing a seatbelt. However, if a driver is pulled over for another violation (e.g., speeding), they can be cited for not wearing a seatbelt as well.
How Can I Protect My Rights if I Was Not Wearing My Seatbelt During the Accident?
Even if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, it is still possible to recover compensation for your injuries. Here are some steps you can take to protect your rights:
- Seek medical attention immediately after the accident.
- Gather evidence to support your claim, such as photographs of the accident scene, eyewitness statements, and the police report.
- Contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling car accident claims in California. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong case to recover the compensation you deserve.
- Cooperate with your doctor and follow their treatment recommendations.
- Keep detailed records of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to the accident.
Not wearing a seatbelt can have a significant impact on a car accident claim in California. If you were involved in a car accident and were not wearing a seatbelt, it is important to take steps to protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong case to recover the compensation you are entitled to receive.
How Do I Choose a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?
To determine if a personal injury attorney is a good fit for your case, you can consider the following factors:
- Experience: Look for an attorney who has experience handling personal injury cases similar to yours. Ask about their success rate and the types of settlements and verdicts they have achieved.
- Reputation: Check online reviews, testimonials, and ratings from past clients. You can also ask for references from the attorney.
- Communication: Choose an attorney who you feel comfortable communicating with and who takes the time to answer your questions and explain the legal process.
- Availability: Look for an attorney who is accessible and responsive to your needs. You should feel confident that you can reach your attorney when you need to.
- Expertise: Make sure the attorney has a strong understanding of personal injury law, as well as the medical and scientific aspects of your case.
- Specializations: Some personal injury attorneys specialize in specific types of cases, such as car accidents or medical malpractice. Consider working with an attorney who specializes in the type of case you have.
- Cost: Consider the attorney’s fees and any other costs associated with your case. Consulting an attorney in this instance may be less costly than the cost of a ticket, the damages you might have to pay to another driver, and the increased rates for car insurance. Choose an attorney who is transparent about their fees and who you feel comfortable working with financially.
Ultimately, it’s important to find an attorney who you trust will best represent your interests. Call Hejazi Law Group at 866-780-8585 for a consultation today!