How are seat belts and contributory negligence connected? I have recently been injured in a car accident and have only just been made aware of the term contributory negligence. Can you please explain?
Seat belts and contributory negligence are connected in the way that if you were not wearing your seat belt either as a driver or passenger in a vehicle, and subsequently were involved in an accident in which you suffered injuries, the final value of your compensation — should you wish to pursue a personal injury compensation claim — would, in most likelihood, be reduced.
The principle of contributory negligence applies to compensation cases where there are two or more parties liable for the cause of the accident and therefore any injuries and damage sustained. To link seat belts and contributory negligence, it is necessary to think about a situation where a plaintiff has sustained an injury due to an accident which was not their fault; but for which they were partly to blame as, by law, they should have been wearing their seatbelt. Furthermore, it would automatically be assumed that the injuries sustained by anyone involved in a car crash who were not wearing their seatbelt, would have been less severe if they had been.
If you have been involved in an accident involving seatbelts and contributory negligence, and believe that you may have a potential claim, even if you were partly at fault, it would be in your best interest to contact a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident occurred in order to discuss the points raised above any other queries you may have about seatbelts and contributory negligence.