Nevada law requires that all occupants of a vehicle, both front and rear seat, must wear a seatbelt or be in a child restraint seat. Seatbelts save lives, and it’s important to wear one at all times. However, no one is perfect, and sometimes we forget to do the right thing. If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be wondering what impact, if any, not wearing a seatbelt could have on your claim.
Some states allow for what is called the seatbelt defense in cases where a car accident victim was injured in an accident where they were not wearing their seatbelt. Using the seatbelt defense, an at-fault driver can claim that the victim is partially at fault for their own injuries because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt. The assertion is that the injuries may not have been as serious if a seatbelt had been worn.
The party responsible for an accident would use the seatbelt defense to reduce their liability. In a comparative negligence state like Nevada, that would mean that a jury would apportion damages based on the degree of fault a party had for the injuries. So if a jury awarded $100,000 in damages and found that the person not wearing their seatbelt was 20% at fault for their own injuries, they would only be able to recover $80,000 in damages from the at-fault driver. However, in Nevada, things are different.
Not in Nevada
Under Nevada law, there is no seatbelt defense. NRS 484D. 495 (4)(b) states that a failure to wear a seatbelt “may not be considered as negligence or as causation in any civil action.” The law goes on to say that the failure to wear a seatbelt is not considered misuse or abuse of a product or as causation in a product liability cause of action. This means that the fact that you were not wearing a seatbelt does not affect your right to bring a personal injury claim if you were injured in a car accident or because of a defective product. Essentially, the fact that you were not wearing your seatbelt is irrelevant in your case for damages.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Firm
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you want an experienced and trusted car accident attorney on your side. At GGRM, our attorneys have over 50 years of experience helping car accident victims pursue compensation. To set up your free consultation, contact us online or call us at 702-978-7641 today.