personal injury - employment law - commercial litigation
FAILURE TO WEAR SEATBELT CAN REDUCE DAMAGES AWARD:
A recent appellate ruling this past November makes clear that failure to wear a seatbelt can have drastic reprocusions in an automobile accident.
Not only may your injuries by significantly increased, but the amount of damages awarded by the jury may be drastically reduced.
In that case, the plaintiff suffered severe injuries as a passenger in an automobile accident. A jury awarded past damages in the amount of $115,325 and future damages of $40,000. At the time of the accident, however, she was not wearing her seatbelt. The insurance carrier representing the at-fault driver asserted the passenger's failure to wear a seatbelt as a defense.
Because the passsange was not wearing a seatbelt, the jury found that she was 90% responsible for the severity of her injuries. After deducting PIP benefits and reducing the award by the 90%, the plaintiff was awarded $10,532.
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