The Importance of Seatbelts in Your Personal Injury Case

There are thousands of accidents that occur on the many highways and roadways of West Virginia in each year. While some individuals are fortunate enough to escape the accidents without any injures, thousands of others are injured to an extent that requires some form of medical care. When serious accidents occur, medical treatment quickly becomes costly. Medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses are some of the main reasons for filing a personal injury claim. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident or incident in the state of West Virginia, contact an attorney at Colombo Law today for a no-risk initial consultation.

Seatbelts and Injuries

In many states, including in the state of West Virginia, laws require passengers to wear proper seatbelt restraints while in a motor vehicle. Seatbelts have been shown to reduce the likelihood of injury and death in devastating accidents. Failure to use a seatbelt has been linked to a higher possibility of sustaining:

  • Head, chest and abdominal injuries;
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Lacerations;
  • Whiplash and injuries to one’s spine and neck;

The likelihood of an accident becoming fatal is higher when a driver or occupant of a motor vehicle rides while unrestrained in the motor vehicle. The best practice is for you and your loved one to buckle up every time you are in a motor vehicle.

Failure to Wear a Seatbelt May Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

Contrary to the law in some states, the state of West Virginia is a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence is a rule of law that addresses how to handle circumstances where the victim is partially at fault for his or her own injuries. Because of this, an injured party can only recover a sum of money from each individual equal to the damages that particular party caused. Failure to wear a seatbelt, which causes injuries that would not have otherwise occurred, may result in a decreased settlement or litigation award.

While there may be a risk of decreased awards in cases where the injured party fails to wear a seatbelt, our attorneys want to help you. The failure to wear a seatbelt does not automatically result in responsibility for your injuries despite the issue being raised as a defense in many personal injury cases. When this defense is raised, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that the failure to wear a seatbelt directly caused the injuries sustained. Often times, this is difficult to prove to the extent necessary in a legal setting. If you or your loved one has not received a just award due to the failure to wear a seatbelt, contact Colombo Law.

Contact Colombo Law Today

At Colombo Law, our attorneys understand how difficult it is to recover monetary damages for your injuries when met with resistance every step of the way. That is why our attorneys believe it is crucial to have the help of an experienced attorney who will work on your behalf and understands the law. For a no-risk initial consultation, contact Colombo Law today.


by Colombo Law
Last updated on - Originally published on