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Nickelsporn & Lundin, P.C.

Q:
Can I still sue for a Maryland car accident injury even if I was not wearing a seat belt?

A:

Yes, you can. Whether or not you were wearing a seat belt does not change the fact that you sustained serious injuries in a Maryland auto accident and that you deserve compensation for those injuries.

In fact, according to Maryland state law, this information is irrelevant in a personal injury case. This is because failing to use a seat belt is considered a criminal offense; therefore, seat belt use is only permissible evidence in a criminal case. Since a personal injury case is a civil case (not criminal), seat belt usage is considered irrelevant. An attorney in a civil case is not allowed to ask whether or not you were wearing your seat belt at the time of the accident.

You can think about it this way- your attorney's job is to prove that the other party was responsible for the accident and therefore responsible for your injuries. If they had not been negligent, you would not have been involved in a crash and injured. Whether you were wearing a seat belt or not has nothing to do with the other party's negligent driving.

The other party is not allowed to argue that you would not have been injured if you had been wearing a seat belt. Above all else, you would not have been injured if they hadn't caused a crash! The statute clearly states that using or not using a seat belt is not admissible evidence in court. Do not let your failure to use a seat belt prevent you from trying a personal injury case.

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