Did you know that if you’re in a car accident and found guilty of not wearing a seatbelt, it can affect your injury settlement? Not only is a seat belt a necessary safety step, but in the state of Utah, it’s a requirement by law to buckle up.
Take a closer look at Utah seat belt laws and how insurance companies can use failure to wear a seat belt against you in a lawsuit.
Utah State Law
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, the “Click It or Ticket” law is as follows: “law enforcement can stop and educate individuals for driving unbuckled on Utah roads.” If you or anyone in your vehicle is not correctly restrained, you can be issued a $45 citation. Proper restrainment is defined as placing the shoulder belt across your clavicle and down the middle of the chest. The lap belt should be across the hips and below your stomach. If the shoulder strap is placed behind you or under your arm, you could be penalized for your seat belt’s improper wear.
How Not Wearing a Seatbelt Affects Your Injury Settlement
The most important thing to remember is that failure to wear a seat belt is a safety concern more than anything. However, there are financial and legal repercussions that can occur if you forget to buckle up.
- Increased Cost – Car crashes are often much more expensive if you’re not adequately secured because you will likely sustain more severe injuries. These injuries can result in longer hospital stays, ambulance bills, and overall increase medical expenses. And while wearing a seatbelt can’t completely prevent you from any harm, in many ways, a seat belt can reduce your likelihood of serious injuries and even death. By always being proactive and protecting yourself from severe damage, you can dramatically reduce your medical bills that will follow in the event of a car accident.
- Legal Repercussions – If you are found not to have been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the car crash, it can impact your chances of getting the highest amount of financial compensation for your medical bills. The state of Utah practices comparative negligence, which means that to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, you have to be found less at fault for your injuries than the other parties involved in the accident. According to NOLO, “your failure to wear a seatbelt may prevent you from receiving a better financial outcome.” Not wearing a seat belt can show that you are at least somewhat responsible for your injuries, and even if you’re at fault less than the other party, there is a possibility that you can regain only a portion of your injury settlement.
Contact Flickenger Sutterfield and Boulton
At Flickinger Sutterfield and Boulton, we believe that when you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need someone by your side to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We have been representing Utah citizens hurt in car accidents for 25 years and are eager to help you recover financially. Contact our law offices today to maximize your injury settlement. We are located in West Jordan, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and Provo.