Many people believe that if they are in an automobile accident and they are injured, they have lost the right to make a claim if they were not wearing a seatbelt. Louisiana does require both the driver and all passengers to use seatbelts, and those who fail to do so can be fined. However, for anyone asserting a claim for injuries, medical expenses, or other damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the fact that the injured person may not have been using a seatbelt is usually not admissible in evidence in a civil suit in Louisiana. Louisiana Revised Statute 32:295.1E provides as follows:
“In any action to recover damages arising out of the ownership, common maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle, failure to wear a seatbelt in violation of this Section shall not be considered evidence of comparative negligence. Failure to wear a seatbelt in violation of this Section shall not be admitted to mitigate damages.”
We strongly believe that all drivers and their passengers should wear seatbelts at any time they are in a vehicle. However, if you are injured in an accident and you were not using your seatbelt when the accident happened, your claim against the at-fault (negligent) driver and his or her insurance company will not be reduced in value. If you have been involved in any type of trucking, automobile, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident, and you sustained injuries, please call Gary P. Koederitz, Koederitz Law Firm, at (225) 295-9494 for a free consultation.