Safety Belt Laws and Reduced Damages in New York
In every state but New Hampshire, there are safety belt laws put in place to help individuals to protect drivers and passengers from serious injury or death in automobile accidents. In some states, these laws only cover occupants in the front seat.
28 states have laws that cover all rear-seat occupants as well. In 33 states, a police officer has the right to stop a vehicle on the road solely based on the fact that the passengers or driver is not wearing a seatbelt. In other states the police must have another reason to pull over the vehicle before they fine that driver or passengers for injuries. Safety belts can have implications in civil suits as well as in traffic violation charges.
This is because in 16 states, including New York, a court will reduce the damages collected by someone in a crash if that person failed to buckle up before the accident. This means that if you are severely injured in a crash but didn’t have your seatbelt on at the time of the accident because of your own mistake or negligence, then you may not get the maximum amount of compensation because of your division. This reduction is only allowed for injuries that could have been prevented by a seatbelt.
For example, if a person falls onto the dashboard, then any injuries from this impact would be reduced because a person with a seatbelt on wouldn’t have been thrown in that direction. The reduction may not exceed the fixed percentage of the damages.
If you want more information how failing to wear a seatbelt may affect your car accident lawsuit, then you will want to talk to a reliable New York personal injury lawyer at Greenberg & Stein today. With the right lawyer on your side you can get the compensation that you need to handle your case!