PERSON INJURED IN MN AUTO ACCIDENT NOT WEARING SEAT BELT STILL HAS CASE
Seatbelts are mandatory in Minnesota. If you are caught driving without wearing a seatbelt you will get a ticket.
Our lawyers are often asked, “do I still have a case if I was injured in a MN car accident while not wearing a seatbelt.” The short answer is yes, you still have a case. Evidence that you were not wearing a seat belt, or that a child restraint was not being used, cannot be used in any litigation involving personal injury or property damage. MS 169.685(4).
SERIOUS INJURY FROM NOT WEARING SEATBELT
There is no question that seat belts save lives and greatly reduce injuries. Our auto accident lawyers have represented many people who have greatly benefited from having a seat belt on at the time of a crash. However, we have also had cases where our client was not wearing a seat belt in a car accident. Not wearing a seatbelt can result in very serious injuries. In many of those cases, the other driver was clearly at fault. The question at that point is whether his insurance should be able to avoid paying fair compensation just because the injury victim was not wearing a seat belt.
So far, the MN legislature has determined that a distracted or negligent driver has to pay the damages for his or her bad driving, even if the damages would have been less if the victim had been wearing a seat belt. However, the insurance industry has been lobbying for years to change this. They would like lack of seat belt use to reduce the compensation they have to pay.
Our MN car accident attorneys only represent people injured in a car crash. In most cases, the accident is because of a distracted driver, drunk driver, or texting driver. We believe it would be wrong to reduce compensation awards for not wearing a seat belt. The negligent driver’s insurance should still pay medical bills and other necessary compensation.