Buckle Up Or Lose

I received an Email from a Palm Springs resident addressed to the Palm Springs truck accident attorney asking," if an unbelted motorist that was involved in a truck versus car accident caused by the truck driver could still file a lawsuit against the truck driver for personal injury notwithstanding the failure to use a seatbelt?" The answer is yes to the question that was asked. But if the failure to wear a seatbelt caused injuries that would not have occurred had the belts been used; the monetary settlement or jury verdict will be reduced due to the defense of Contributory Negligence. So let us move out of lawyer-speak. The concept is quite simple. If I am driving a car without using my seatbelt, which is totally unreasonable, and another driver crashes into my stopped car causing me to fly through the front windshield and suffer a fractured skull I can sue the other driver for his negligent conduct causing the accident. I will win the case. Now here is the problem. If I had been wearing the seatbelt and would have only had a whiplash I will most likely be limited to recovering a settlement or jury verdict compensating me for the value of a cervical strain, commonly referred to as a whiplash. If instead of having a cervical strain, whiplash, I fractured my skull, I will find the defendant, insurance company arguing that I should not be compensated for the fractured skull because had I been wearing the seatbelt I would have remained inside the car with a neck injury as a consequence of the accident. Buckle up in the Coachella Valley!

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