Seatbelts are crucial safety devices designed to protect vehicle occupants in the event of a car accident. However, what happens if you are injured in an Illinois car accident while not wearing a seatbelt? If this has happened to you, understanding the legal implications now is important, as it may impact your ability to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact a lawyer today to pursue the compensation you may be entitled to as a result of your injury.
Contributory Negligence and Comparative Fault
Illinois follows the principle of comparative fault, which means that the court assigns a percentage of fault to each party involved in an accident. If you were injured while not wearing a seatbelt, the court might determine that you were partially responsible for your injuries. This is because failing to wear a seatbelt is considered contributory negligence. The degree of fault assigned to you will reduce the amount of compensation you can recover from the other party involved in the accident.
Impact on Compensation
Illinois operates under a modified comparative fault rule. If you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, the compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if the court determines that you were 20 percent at fault for not wearing a seatbelt and your damages were assessed at $100,000, you would only be entitled to $80,000.
Exception to Seat Belt Defense
There are exceptions to the seat belt defense in Illinois. If you can prove that not wearing a seatbelt did not contribute to your injuries, you may still be eligible for full compensation. For instance, if a defective seatbelt caused your injuries or you were in a vehicle where seatbelts were unavailable, the court may not assign any fault to you for not wearing one.
Contact an Orland Park Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries while not wearing a seatbelt in Illinois, it is crucial to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney. They will evaluate the circumstances of your case, gather evidence, and advocate for your rights to ensure you receive fair compensation, given the circumstances. While not wearing a seatbelt can impact your ability to seek compensation in an injury claim, it does not automatically bar you from recovering damages. Contact the esteemed Cook County personal injury attorneys with [[title]] for legal guidance. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.