Now, regardless of the reason, it’s true that a lot of people don’t always wear their seatbelts. The failure to do so, however, could sometimes have a serious impact on your claim for car accident injury damages when it comes to a lawsuit. However, there are understandable reasons and legitimate ones not to do so.
The evidence in a lawsuit might actually show that the seatbelt wouldn’t have made any difference. What is more, there are cases in which the judge wouldn’t really allow for the Jury to consider any kind of reduction based on the fact that there was no seatbelt because of the overall evidence throughout the entire trial.
The Courts, in fact, haven’t actually said that the failure of someone to use a seatbelt stops someone from his legal right to claim damages. And, to a certain extent, it makes sense. Just because the person who was injured didn’t really do what he or she was supposed to, this doesn’t mean that this particular act would have prevented the other party from being at-fault and causing the accident. Of course, the damages are quite important. If you are claiming for property damages on your vehicle, the fact that you haven’t worn your seatbelt is not going to make any difference.
Instead, Ontario allows reductions to be issued when the seatbelt might have actually prevented or, at least, lessened the damages. Whether the seatbelt has made a difference or not is a matter of the evidence and the way the court takes it. There are usually experts who are retained in order to give a professional opinion.
What is more, there is even judicial practice on that particular matter. The Appellate Court of Ontario stated that the highest amount with which a person’s damages could be reduced cannot be more than 25%. And, of course, there is a contingency here – the damages could have been avoided or prevented, if the person has worn a seatbelt. Thus, as you can see, this particular category is undoubtedly challenging and it is something that you ought to take into serious consideration. It is a subtle matter because it truly is a matter of experience to determine whether or not the seatbelt would have made a difference.
At the same time, it is also important to prevent insurance companies from denying compensation based on this particular fact. This is a common practice and you should definitely take it into serious consideration. Retain a personal injury lawyer as quickly as you can and make sure that he/she is well aware of the things that have to be done in order to handle and rectify the situation. They are well-aware of the issues that can come up in such cases and ensure that your rights are safeguarded with their legal skills and knowledge.