Not Wearing a Seat Belt; Can I Still Sue?

person buckling seat belt

Yes, you can still sue the other driver when injured in a car accident, even though you wear not wearing your seat belt. 

However, your poor decision can effect the amount of money you may be able to recover. Florida has what is called the Florida Safety Belt Law

Florida Safety Belt Law

It is unlawful for any person:

  • To operate a motor vehicle or an autocycle in this state unless each passenger and the operator of the vehicle or autocycle under the age of 18 years are restrained by a safety belt or by a child restraint device.
  • To operate a motor vehicle or an autocycle in this state unless the person is restrained by a safety belt.
  • It is unlawful for any person 18 years of age or older to be a passenger in the front seat of a motor vehicle or an autocycle unless such person is restrained by a safety belt when the vehicle or autocycle is in motion.

In addition; a violation of the Safety Belt Law may be considered as evidence of comparative negligence, in any civil action.

Seat Belts and Comparative Negligence

In Florida, the money you recover in trial can be reduced by the percentage a jury believed you were at fault. A jury will decide whether your injuries were 100% the other drivers fault or if some action by you may have also contributed to the accident, for example, speeding or talking on your cell phone. If a jury decides you were partially at fault, say 20%, than any money rewarded would be reduced by 20%, (a $100,000 jury verdict is now $80,000 because you were 20% at fault for the accident). This percentage of fault is called comparative negligence. 

If you are injured in an automobile accident and were not wearing your seat belt, the other driver may argue the defense of comparative negligence. So not only is it unsafe to not wear your seat belt, but it could also cost you financially if you are injured in an accident. 

If You Have Questions About a Car Accident or Any Other Injury You Suffered

Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.