Is it possible to claim for seat belt injury compensation even though the seatbelt saved me from sustaining a more serious injury?
You should be entitled to claim for seat belt injury compensation as the main criteria for pursuing a personal injury claim is that the accident in question was caused by the negligence of a third party and that an injury that required medical attention was sustained. That the injury you suffered was due to your seatbelt is irrelevant, since the root of the injury lies with the accident for which a third negligent party was responsible for.
It is important, however, to prove third party negligence, and no claim for injury due to seat belt can be made unless it can be shown that an injury was in fact sustained. This is why it was extremely important that you were examined by a professional medical practitioner immediately following the accident. It must also be noted that any delay between the date of the accident and the date your injury was sustained may not see your claim disqualified, but the compensation amount may be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.
In order to support your claim for seat belt injury compensation, it is also essential that you submitted a report to the Gardai as soon as your injuries permitted you to do so – if the accident was serious, the Gardai would have been summoned to the scene and taken statements from all those involved. If the accident did not call for their presence, you should have visited the local Garda station at the first practical moment to have had your version of events noted in their Accident Report Book.
Further support for your claim for damage from seat belt can be gained from collecting the contact details of witnesses to the accident. It may also be possible to prove negligence by accessing any available CCTV footage.
Even if you have not completed all of the standard procedures, you would still be well advised to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury claims solicitor at the first practical moment. In the initial consultation – which most solicitors offer without charge – your solicitor would be able to assess your claim for injury due to seat belt to determine its viability. Once your right to claim damage from seatbelt compensation is confirmed, your solicitor would be able to give you a preliminary indication of how much compensation you can expect to receive. This figure would prove especially useful if you are approached by the negligent party’s insurance company, as unsolicited offers from insurers made to accident victims often fall below what the plaintiff is genuinely entitled to.
It is important that claims for seat belt injury compensation are thoroughly researched and professionally prepared in order to increase the possibility of success and of recovering compensation in the quickest possible time.