If you have been injured in a car accident in Las Vegas and you weren’t wearing a seat belt, you may wonder about your right to seek compensation for your injuries. It’s a common question. After all, Nevada law requires you to wear a seat belt.
Your lack of a seat belt does not disqualify you from seeking compensation for your injuries if another motorist caused the accident. It will depend on the specific facts of the accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, reach out to Sam & Ash today for a free initial case review. We’ll review the facts of the accident that caused your injuries and discuss your legal options. We can answer your questions about whether you are entitled to seek compensation, even though you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time.
Can I Claim Compensation if I Wasn’t Wearing a Seat Belt?
If you were unbelted when a car accident occurred, that does not preclude you from filing a claim against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance provider.
Nevada law states that the failure to wear a seat belt shall not be considered negligence or reckless driving.
Whether or not you were wearing a seat belt did not play a role in causing the accident. Your lack of a seat belt did not cause the other driver to speed, run a stop sign or drive drunk.
If the other driver made an error and caused the crash that injured you, then the other driver should be financially liable for your accident-related losses.
How Seat Belt Usage Affects Compensation Claims
If you were injured in a car wreck and weren’t wearing a seat belt, the insurance companies involved in your injury claim may point to your lack of a seat belt and try to argue that you bear some fault for your injuries. This is one of the many tactics insurance companies use to reduce the amount they pay in claims.
You’ll benefit from having a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who understands Nevada law to represent you in dealings with the insurance company.
The Las Vegas attorneys at Sam & Ash, LLP are familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to avoid liability and how to counter those tactics. We will stand up for your rights to receive full compensation for your injuries in dealings with the insurance company.
What’s the Law on Wearing a Seat Belt?
Under Nevada law, all occupants of a motor vehicle aged six years or older or weighing 60 pounds or more are required to wear a seat belt. Children under the age and weight limits are required to be secured in car seats or booster seats.
In some circumstances, people don’t have to wear seat belts. Those circumstances include:
- A person has a medical exemption, certified by a physician’s note
- Postal employees delivering mail
- Delivery drivers who are making frequent stops and who travel no more than 15 miles per hour
- Passengers in public transportation vehicles
What Happens if You Get into a Crash Without a Seat Belt?
If you get into a car crash while not wearing a seat belt, you may end up suffering more serious injuries than if you had been belted. People not wearing their seat belts in a car accident face a higher risk of being thrown around the passenger cabin and hitting their head on the windshield or dashboard.
Failing to wear a seat belt also greatly increases the chances of being ejected from a vehicle in a serious crash, which can cause catastrophic or potentially fatal injuries.
Penalties for Violating Nevada’s Seat Belt Law
Failure to wear a seat belt is considered unlawful in Nevada. Any passenger who fails to comply with the seat belt law may be issued a citation for a $25 fine. Drivers can also receive a citation for any minors in their vehicle who aren’t wearing seat belts.
Failure to wear a seat belt is not considered a moving violation and does not result in points on your driver’s license.
The failure to wear a seat belt is not considered a primary offense, meaning that police cannot pull over a vehicle simply because they observed an occupant not wearing their seat belt. Instead, police can only cite someone for not wearing a seat belt after pulling them over for another offense, such as speeding or failing to stop at a red light.
How Not Wearing a Seat Belt Could Affect Your Claim for Compensation After Your Car Crash
Not wearing a seat belt can complicate the process of pursuing compensation after a car crash in Las Vegas. It doesn’t prevent you from filing an injury claim if the other driver was at fault for the collision. But the insurance company may try to use your lack of a seat belt against you when negotiating a settlement.
You’ll be at a disadvantage if you try to deal with the insurance company on your own. You will want an experienced auto accident lawyer to protect your rights to seek just compensation.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney
Don’t wait to get the legal help you need to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney at Sam & Ash today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We care about What’s Right for you. We can talk about how our firm can help you seek a financial recovery for your injuries, even if you weren’t wearing a seat belt in a car accident.