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I was involved in an accident and was not wearing my seatbelt; Can I still make a claim?

Car Accident Lawyer Indiana

Most states have a catchy seat belt slogan, for instance, Indiana’s slogan is “click it or ticket”. Seat belt laws vary between states; but likely due to the crash statistics, many are becoming stricter and more heavily enforced. Front seat car passengers reduce their risk of fatal injury by 45% by wearing their safety belt. Additionally, the force of an airbag can seriously injure vehicle occupants involved in a crash who fail to wear their seat belt. Further, a majority of states have monetary fines in place for individuals who violate state seat belt laws. If you were involved in a car accident without wearing your seat belt, it is important to know the laws of your state to understand how it may impact your personal injury case.

Indiana Law

Indiana’s seat belt law requires “each occupant of a motor vehicle equipped with a safety belt that” meets the federal standard and is installed by the manufacturer, “shall have a safety belt properly fastened about the occupant’s body at all times when the vehicle in forwarding motion.” Other states, like Alabama, only require front seat occupants to wear their safety belts. However, serious injuries can occur in low impact crashes, high impact crashes, on the interstate or a county road, whether someone is driving a large vehicle or small vehicle, and even when passengers are wearing their seat belt.

Indiana seat belt law provides that an occupant’s failure to wear their seat belt does not constitute fault and is not a defense in a personal injury claim. Evidence of an occupant’s failure to wear their safety belt may not be admitted in a civil action to mitigate damages, for example, reduce the damages awarded. In an Indiana case, City of Fort Wayne v. Parrish, the court held that evidence of a passenger not wearing her seat belt when involved in a car crash was not admissible to prove she was contributorily negligent for her injuries. Thus, evidence of your failure to wear a safety belt when involved in a car accident cannot be used by defendants in a personal injury case to show you contributed to your injuries.

However, it is important for vehicle occupants to wear their seat belts regularly. Not only is it the law, but car accidents are unexpected, and wearing a safety belt can lower your chances of fatal and serious injuries. Regardless of vehicle size or occupant age, serious injuries result from car crashes and our experienced attorneys will work to earn the compensation you deserve.

 

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FAQs
Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Case Worth

As a victim, establishing damages, negotiating with the insurance company, or filing a lawsuit can be daunting and next to impossible without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. As a result, if you have been hurt in an accident, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled under Indiana law.

Why Hire?

Choosing an attorney that has experience dealing with personal injury law is important to protect your legal rights. If you are trying to recover damages from a business or other type of organization, you can bet that they are going to have a legal team on their side.

Medical Bills

If you were injured by an accident you may be struggling to determine who is responsible for paying your medical bills and holding them accountable. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of William W. Hurst and learn if we may be able to help.

Recovery

After you have been injured, you are entitled to compensation. The type and amount of compensation depends on the injury, bills, the cause of the injury, negligence/bad faith of the defendant, etc. The attorney you retain can also heavy influence your recovery through knowledge, experience, and dedication. Legal terms and phrases can be confusing even after you retain an attorney. If you have been injured, you may wonder how much your case is worth or what your “damages” are. The worse the injuries, the higher the value of the case and the greater need for an experienced attorney