What If I Was Not Wearing My Seatbelt?
Many people injured by the negligence of someone else in a Boston auto accident were not wearing their seatbelt. These innocent victims of personal injury oftentimes worry they will be found at-fault, or partially at-fault, for not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash. Massachusetts law requires, with limited exceptions, all motorists to wear a seatbelt. However, Massachusetts law is well-settled that failure to wear a seatbelt is not evidence of negligence.
This is because the failure to wear a seatbelt had no role in causing the accident. In legal terms, the absence of a seatbelt was not the proximate cause of the accident. That is because even if the injured party was wearing a seatbelt, that would have done nothing to prevent the crash.
However, sometimes insurance companies and defense lawyers at trial try to argue the failure to wear a seatbelt caused greater injury than would have been suffered had a seatbelt been worn. In that case a judge may allow evidence of non-use of a seatbelt for this limited purpose.
Obviously we encourage all motorists to use their seatbelts at all times. However, for those not wearing one and who were injured in a crash, evidence of non-use of a seatbelt cannot be used to show negligence.
Contact our Boston car accident lawyers today if you need help with an auto accident claim in Massachusetts.