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Why Your Rockville Accident Attorney Cannot Use Seat Belts as Evidence

Richard S. Lundin
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Personal injury and family law attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia

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7/10/2011
Rick Lundin
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Seat belts often play a critical role in Maryland car accidents. Seat belts can save your life. Not using a seat belt can contribute to serious injury or even death.

Given this knowledge, you might suspect that a person injured in a car accident while using a seat belt would receive a higher settlement than someone who did not use one.

After all, the person using a seat belt did everything possible to prevent injury. The driver who failed to use a seat belt could have prevented partial injury by using a seat belt.

Right?

It's true that using a seat belt is simply good sense. It's also true that the second person might have fared better with the use of a seat belt.

However, seat belt use will not be a factor in either driver's personal injury lawsuit.

That's because Maryland state law does not permit seat belt use as evidence in a civil lawsuit, such as a personal injury or property damage case.

The law regards non-use of a seat belt - or a child's safety seat, for that matter - as a crime. Therefore, it may be permissible evidence in a criminal lawsuit but not a civil case.

If you were not wearing a seat belt and were injured in a Maryland auto accident, this may be to your advantage. Unfortunately, if you did wear a seat belt, you won't get any brownie points (or extra money) for doing so. While seat belt use is not a factor in recovering damages in a civil suit, it is absolutely imperative to wear one at all times. Without a seat belt, you may not even have a case- you may not survive the crash.

Read here about the benefits of seat belt use in Maryland.



Category: Auto Accidents


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