It is generally a good idea for the driver and passengers in a motor vehicle to wear their seat belts. These safety features are standard pieces of equipment provided in practically every new vehicle and can be used to limit the amount of movement a person experiences in the event that their vehicle is involved in a crash. Certain jurisdictions throughout the United States allow individuals to create a defense regard an alleged victim’s failure to wear a seat belt, and this post will explain the rationale behind this defense and whether it is available in Kentucky.
The ‘seat belt defense’ generally claims that if a person was not wearing their seat belt and is harmed in an accident of someone else’s creation then they may not be able to fully recover the scope of their accident-related damages. That is to say, the failure of the victim to mitigate their harm by wearing their seat belt may impact the financial award that they receive from a court after suing for their accident-related losses.
This defense may, in theory, make sense to some. However, for car accident victims in Kentucky it is important to know that the defense is not an option for negligent drivers. A victim may not see their damages award lowered just because they were not wearing their seat belt when someone else crashed into them and caused their losses.
Motor vehicle drivers and passengers should wear their seat belts, but they should also know that the failure to do so may not have a direct penalty on them if they choose to seek damages after a car crash caused by a negligent driver. Those who do want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit after a motor vehicle accident will want to make sure they understand what state-specific laws will apply to their case. Schedule a free consultation with a Lexington accident attorney if you wish to pursue a case.