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Wearing a Seat Belt: How it Could Affect Your Car Accident Claim


Seat belts save lives and help to reduce injuries during car accidents. Despite the obvious safety advantages and laws that require buckling up, some motorists still choose not to buckle up. Suppose you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of an accident in North Carolina. In that case, you might be wondering what the ramifications of not wearing a seat belt are, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Read on to learn what you need to know about North Carolina seat belt regulations.

Buckle Your Seat Belt – It’s the Law

Seat belts save lives, there is no doubt about that. In North Carolina, wearing a seat belt is mandatory for occupants in both the front and back seats of passenger vehicles. GS 20-135.2A(a) requires that each occupant of a motor vehicle manufactured with seat belts have a seat belt adequately fastened about their body when the car is in forward motion on a street or highway.

Even when traveling in a state with no seat belt laws, you should always wear a safety belt. According to the CDC, wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of dying in a car crash by 45% and cut the risk of suffering a severe injury by 50%. Seat belts don’t just protect you, they protect other passengers in your car as well.

The Role of Seat Belts in Car Accident Claims

Whatever the reason, some drivers are not correctly belted at the time of a crash. Other drivers neglect to put one on. Whatever the case, many insurance companies and their legal teams will attempt to shift the blame if they realize that you were not wearing your seat belt at the time of the accident. They may suggest that you deserve less compensation because you were somehow partially responsible for your injuries.

Not wearing your seat belt at the time of a crash plays no role in the cause of the accident. In fact, in North Carolina, it is forbidden for defendants to raise the so-called “seat belt defense.” Section 20-135.2A(d), states “evidence of failure to wear a seat belt shall not be admissible in any criminal or civil trial, action, or proceeding.” Therefore, the other driver is still liable for your damages, regardless of whether your injuries would have been less severe if you had been wearing a seat belt.

You Deserve Compensation, Let Us Help.

If you suffered injuries in a car crash that was someone else’s fault, you still deserve fair compensation. The insurance company cannot limit your financial recovery just because you were not buckled up. If you or someone you love is in this situation, you need a North Carolina car accident lawyer who can stand up to the insurance companies and their legal team to fight for your right to full and fair compensation.

At Daggett Shuler, our attorneys are prepared to see that justice is done in your case. We stand up to insurance companies who attempt to shirk their duty to pay car accident victims fair compensation. For a FREE evaluation, submit the form below or call us at 1-800-815-5500.

You Can Depend on Daggett Shuler.

I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston