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Long Island Accident Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Can I Recover Damages If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seat Belt?

Can I Recover Damages If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seat Belt?


In New York wearing seat belts is a requirement for everyone in the front seats. And, for minors under 16 years old, safety belts must be worn wherever they are seated in the vehicle. When you choose to not click your belt, you are breaking the law and exposing yourself to possible injury should an accident occur.

If you were injured in a Long Island car wreck and were not wearing a seatbelt, compensation is still possible. In the state of New York, individuals who are recovering from major injuries and income loss totaling over $50,000 have a right to move forward with legal action. That said, if a seatbelt is not fastened cases can be complex.

Always wear your seat belt. There are a few ways safety restraints keep people safe in the event of a crash:

  • Driver maintains an optimal position for control of the vehicle
  • Vehicular ejections are less likely
  • Possibility of flying into windshield or dashboard reduced

After a car accident resulting in serious injuries in Brooklyn, Stewart Manor, or Bayside, there may be the need to negotiate with insurance adjusters or file a personal injury lawsuit. To understand what is best for you, talk to a Long Island car accident lawyer.

New York and the Seat Belt Defense

In New York, it is possible for the seat belt defense to be used when parties are involved in a car accident lawsuit. Essentially, this defense points to the person not wearing their safety restraint at the time of the collision to be responsive for the cost, or at least a portion of the expenses, of their injuries.

There are ways accident victims can prove a seat belt would not have reduced or stopped their injuries, so they are not responsible for the costs of their medical care and lost income. A skilled Long Island car accident lawyer has the experience to look over your accident details and determine what legal strategy is the strongest in your situation.

When you work with a seasoned legal team, you are more likely to secure the damage recovery amount that you and your family need to heal and thrive. This is true whether you were wearing a seat belt when the New York car collision occurred or not. Documentation to prove your point may be possible. For example, accounts from medical teams that state your injuries are not a result of you failing to wear a safety restraint could be helpful.

To keep you and your loved ones safe, follow New York law and wear your seat belt. And when accidents happen, seek medical treatment and connect with a personal injury lawyer to understand your damage recovery options.

Did you sustain injuries in a car accident? You need a Long Island car accident lawyer working for you. Coping with medical fees and lost income can be difficult. Together, we can assess your situation and develop a strategy. With over 30 years of legal experience, our team represents clients throughout Long Island and the five boroughs of New York City. Don’t delay, contact Giuffré Law Offices at 516-802-9912 to discuss your case today.

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