Can I Receive Compensation for My Florida Car Accident If I Was Unbuckled?Tampa Bay Legal News
Like most states in our country, Florida has laws that require drivers, front-seat passengers, and backseat passengers under 18 years of age to be fastened into a seat belt whenever the car is in motion.
Due to this law, if you sustained injuries during a Tampa car accident and you did not have your seat belt on, you may be wondering whether or not you are still able to seek out financial compensation for your accident-related damages.
There are some things you should be aware of when it comes to filing a personal injury claim under these circumstances.
Florida’s Seat Belt Laws
Florida’s seat belt law compelling all vehicle occupants to fasten their seat belts anytime the car is moving is what is known as a primary law. If a driver breaks a primary law, law enforcement has the right to pull the offending driver over and issue them a traffic citation. A primary law means that they do not have to have any other reason for pulling the vehicle over.
In some states, seat belt laws are secondary. A secondary law is one for which the police can only issue a ticket if they have pulled you over for committing another infraction.
The driver of the vehicle is responsible for securing themselves as well as any minors. Florida law states that passengers who are 16-years-old or older and have a driver’s license are responsible for fastening their own seat belts. Florida’s Child Passenger Safety law states that any children under 18-years-old must have a seat belt on at all times. If a licensed passenger fails to buckle their seat belt, but the driver is wearing theirs, then the passenger may be cited rather than the driver.
Can I Still Seek Financial Compensation For Injuries?
If you were involved in a car accident and were not buckled up when the collision took place, you might still be eligible to seek financial compensation for your accident-related injuries. Typically, the other person won’t be able to use your lack of following the state’s seat belt law or being issued a traffic citation against you in a lawsuit or an insurance claim.
Some evidence concerning this violation, however, may be allowed under certain circumstances. For instance, the fact that you did not have your seat belt on could be pertinent to your case if the opposing party can offer proof that your injuries would have been less serious had you been buckled up at the time of the accident.
The defendant or the insurance carrier might claim that your injuries were the result of your failure to obey Florida safety laws.
This is why it is important to reach out to the Tampa car accident attorneys at Fulgencio Law by calling (813) 463-0123. Our Florida personal injury team is prepared to evaluate your Tampa car accident claim in a free, no-obligation consultation and review all of your legal options with you.