It depends upon the type of claim you have. If you have been injured in a car wreck, you may have multiple claims. Of course, you have a claim against the other driver who caused the accident. But, you may also have a claim against your own insurance carrier if the other driver was not insured or not adequately insured to compensate you for all your damages. If the other driver had been drinking before the accident, you may have a liquor liability claim if the other driver was overserved at a restaurant or bar. If your vehicle failed to perform as designed in the accident, such as the airbags failed to deploy, you may have a product liability claim against the automaker. If the accident happened in a construction zone that was improperly marked, you may have a claim against the construction company. Other claims might also be possible.
In most of these cases, the fact that you were not wearing your seatbelt, or that you were cited for failing to wear your seatbelt, is NOT admissible based on a Tennessee statute, T.C.A. 55-9-604. In other words, the other side will not be able to bring it up in your case. Below is a handy-dandy list on whether the seatbelt issue could hurt you in your type of case:
Claim Against the Other Driver: Failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible. For more information on car accident cases, click here.
Claim Against Your Insurance Carrier: Failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible
Claim Against Bar or Restaurant for Liquor Liability: Failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible. For more information on liquor liability claims, click here.
Claim Against Auto Manufacturer: Failure to wear seatbelt may be admissible if certain criteria outlined in the statute are met. For more information on product liability cases, click here.
Claim Against Construction Company for Roadway Problems: Failure to wear a seatbelt is not admissible.
If you are not wearing your seatbelt, you most definitely should. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seatbelts reduce your chance of being seriously injured or killed in a car accident by about half. However, the fact that you were not wearing your seatbelt and/or were cited for failing to wear your seatbelt will not hurt you in most car accident related cases.
If you would like to discuss this issue further or would like us to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation on your car accident case, just give us a call at 615-742-4880 for Nashville, 615-867-9900 for Murfreesboro, or 866-812-8787 for toll-free. Or, you can reach out to us online. One of our award-winning attorneys would be happy to talk to you, review your case, answer your questions and advise you of your legal options. We handle all injury and death cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you. But, do not delay, the law only allows you a limited time to pursue your legal rights.