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The Importance Of Wearing A Seat Belt In Personal Injury Cases.April 29, 2013
As experienced Buffalo personal injury attorneys, we strongly urge everyone to wear a seat belt. Studies have proven again and again that wearing a seat belt lowers the risk of personal injury in motor vehicle accidents. Also, while choosing not to wear a seat belt does not mean you cannot seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit, it can lower the amount you recover for your injuries.
Under New York State law, if an injured person was not wearing a seat belt and the defense chooses to raise the issue, evidence of not wearing a seat belt cannot be used at trial to prove that the injured person caused the accident or injuries, but it may be used to prove that he or she would not have been injured as badly if the seat belt had been used.
Even if the defense chooses to raise this as an issue, they must comply with certain rules. First, they must have informed the injured person and the court beforehand that they will be using this defense. Second, they must submit evidence showing how wearing a seat belt would have changed the injuries. In most cases, this means that they will need an expert who can provide details regarding how wearing a seat belt would have resulted in lesser injuries.
Everyone should wear their seat belt. If you did not and suffered a personal injury in a car accident, however, you should still speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights. We can be reached at 716-400-0000 and would be happy to help you.