Attorney Explains How Seat Belt Use May Impact a Miami Car Accident Claim

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After a serious Miami car accident that results in injury, an attorney can provide crucial guidance regarding what you should do next. In some cases, seat belt use may be a concern and could impact your car accident claim.

When you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, before filing a claim, it helps to know how some of the factors of your crash may impact the compensation you may recover. If your injuries are severe, you know how quickly your $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) “no fault” insurance can be exhausted.

What if I didn’t follow seat belt laws and want to file a car accident claim?

Seat belt statutes matter in a car accident claim. If you were not following the law, the compensation to which you may be entitled could be reduced, even if someone else is responsible for causing your accident.

Florida follows pure comparative negligence law. This means that if you want to file a claim, you can do so even if you are somewhat at fault for the accident or your injuries. The only kicker is that your degree of fault will determine by how much your compensation is reduced. So if you were entitled to $15,000 in damages but your degree of fault in the accident was 50 percent, your total compensation would be reduced by half to just $7,500 in damages.

If you sustained injury in a car accident in Miami, an attorney will inform you that even if you didn’t cause the crash, failure to follow the state’s seat belt laws could be argued as fault for your injuries. The argument may go that the injuries could have been prevented or reduced had you been wearing your seat belt.

What are some of the seat belt laws in Florida?

Florida’s seat belt laws dictate that:

  • front seat passengers must wear a seat belt, regardless of their age;
  • passengers 18 years and younger must wear seat belt, regardless of where they are sitting;
  • children ages 3 and under must be in a federally approved child restraint seat; and
  • children 4 to 5 years old must be in a federally approved child seat or safety belt.

These laws apply to cars that were manufactured since 1968.

Seek Legal Guidance After a Car Accident 

We’ve been fighting on behalf of Florida injury victims since 1968. Whether seeking compensation against the person or persons who caused your crash or you are in the midst of a car accident claim, we can help. To get a better feel for what to expect after a Miami car accident, contact an attorney at the Falk & Falk Law Firm at 305-279-0999.