Most states have seat belt laws that require the drivers and passengers of vehicles to wear seat belts. If you were in a car accident and were not wearing a seatbelt does that affect your potential personal injury claim?
The answer to this question depends on which state you are in and that state’s seat belt and comparative negligence laws.
Nevada Seat Belt Laws
In Nevada, the Nevada Revised Statutes require the front and rear seat occupants of almost all passenger vehicles to wear safety belts or to ride in an approved child restraint system. NRS 484D.495 and NRS 484B.157.
What does this mean if you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident?
The Seat Belt Defense
In some states, if the person who was injured in an auto accident was supposed to be wearing a seatbelt, but wasn’t, the at-fault party will raise this fact to reduce their liability by the amount of damages that would have been avoided if that person had been wearing a seatbelt.
However, Nevada does not allow parties to use the seat belt defense in a personal injury lawsuit. The prohibition of the seat belt defense is codified in NRS 484D.495(4)(b) and (c), which states that not wearing a seat belt:
(b) May not be considered as negligence or as causation in any civil action or as negligent or reckless driving under NRS 484B.653.
(c) May not be considered as misuse or abuse of a product or as causation in any action brought to recover damages for injury to a person or property resulting from the manufacture, distribution, sale or use of a product.
This means that the fact that you were not wearing a seatbelt will not stop you from bringing a personal injury claim.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been in a car accident and were not wearing a seat belt, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you protect your rights.