September 16, 2020
Can I Still Recover Compensation After a Car Accident If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seat Belt?
Posted in: Car Accidents
Although you are legally required to wear a seatbelt while in a car, if you are not and someone else causes your car accident, you can still recover compensation from them to cover your losses. You can get money for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.
If you are in a car accident, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. We will evaluate your specific situation and tell you how it will impact how much you can get after an accident. Call us at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form.
Illinois Seat Belt Laws
In Illinois, you are required to wear a seat belt if you are a driver or passenger in the front or back seat of a motor vehicle. This applies to everyone age 8 and older. Anyone younger than that should be in an approved child safety seat that also attaches to the vehicle.
If you violate Illinois seat belt laws, you may face fines or other consequences. However, it will not always prevent you from collecting compensation if someone is negligent and causes you to have a car accident.
Who Is Responsible for a Car Accident?
The person who is negligent, or acts unreasonably, is ultimately responsible for the car accident. They are legally liable, or financially responsible, as well. That means their insurance company must pick up the bill for your medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and any other losses that you incur due to the accident.
If you are partially responsible for a car accident, then your compensation may be reduced. However, as long as you are less than 50% at fault, then you can still recover money. If you are more than 50% at fault, you may be barred from compensation altogether. Additionally, your judgment will be reduced by any amount that you are at fault. So, if a jury determines that you deserve $100,000 for your injuries, but you are 30% at fault, then you can only recover $70,000.
Does Not Wearing a Seat Belt Make Me At-Fault?
Not wearing a seat belt does not make you negligent in an accident. However, the other insurance company may use it as a bargaining chip to try to reduce their liability to pay certain medical bills.
For example, if you received broken ribs due to an impact with the steering wheel because you were not properly restrained, the negligent driver’s insurance company may try to refuse payment for those costs. That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney who will push to get all of your bills covered.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Will Help You Get As Much Compensation as Possible
Our team of experienced trial lawyers will aggressively represent your interests after a car accident. We know that the negligent driver’s insurance company will do everything possible to avoid paying for your claim – even if that means blaming you whenever possible. We will gather evidence and prove that the other driver was at fault and should be on the hook for all of your expenses. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form.