I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when I was injured in a car accident, can I still claim?

There are many different factors which count towards whether a personal injury claim is successful or not, and also upon the amount of compensation which is finally awarded. On a basic level, however, the equation is fairly simple. If you’ve been involved in an accident, suffered an injury as the result of this accident, and feel that the accident was caused by the negligence of another, then you have every right to claim compensation.

Mounting a successful claim depends upon proving that the negligence involved in the accident was the fault of another party. Indeed, the word ‘accident’, implying, as it does, an incident with no blame attached, hardly begins to cover the kind of incident we are looking at. The amount of compensation awarded varies widely from case to case. In the first instance, the monies awarded are intended to reimburse immediate out of pocket expenses such as medical bills and travel costs. In the longer term, they will be meant to make up for earnings lost now and in the future thanks to any diminished capability. The final part of any calculation is based upon the type and severity of the injuries sustained, with minor cuts and bruises clearly fetching less compensation than the likes of a major head injury.

Many people imagine that if they carry any blame whatsoever for their injuries, i.e. if they weren’t wearing a seatbelt, then they are no longer in a position to claim compensation. Legally speaking, however, this is simply not the case.

As pointed out by the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland), forgetting to wear a seatbelt doesn’t mean you can’t claim for compensation, and will only have an effect on the amount of compensation awarded if it was felt to have made the injuries worse. If you’re unsure as to your own position, then contact a no win no fee solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity and take advantage of their expertise.

 

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