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What happens to my claim if I don’t wear a seatbelt?

Can you believe it was only in 1983 when seatbelt laws came into force, seatbelts for children in 1989 and seatbelts in the back seats in 1991? It took a while for people to change habits but now it is accepted as the norm. Most manufacturers make their cars shout at you to remind you when you have failed to put your seatbelt on.

Even still however, some people decide not to wear a seatbelt and there are some instances where people can be exempt from wearing a seatbelt. If you have been unlucky enough to have an accident and you were not wearing your seatbelt then you may be able to make a claim however, you may very well have the compensation deducted.

In these cases the law has decided that you have contributed to your injuries. This is known as Contributory Negligence. The fact that you have failed to wear your seatbelt has resulted in the situation that your injuries are worse than they would have been if you had been wearing you seatbelt. What then needs to be decided is how much of your compensation will be deducted as a result.

There has been a case in 1975 called Froom v Butcher which set the precedent for the law on deductions for not wearing a seatbelt and is still used today. This case says that if your injuries would not have happened if you had been wearing your seatbelt then you will receive a 25% deduction in damages. If your injuries were made worse by not wearing a seatbelt you will have a reduction of 10% and if a seatbelt had no effect on your injuries and they would have happened anyway, there will be no deduction at all.

A specialist solicitor will be able to use expert medical evidence to help decide what deduction, if any, to accept when making your claim for personal injury. It is important to have their expertise on your side, because without it, an insurer would probably persuade you to accept the full 25% deduction.

Therefore, if you have been injured in an accident which was someone else’s fault and you were not wearing a seatbelt, you should have a chat with one of our experts to ensure you are given the right advice. For more information about this article or any aspect of our accident and injury claims services, please call us on 01772 424999 or fill in the form below:

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