Seatbelt Issues

Alabama has enacted laws requiring drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seatbelts. Code of Ala. § 32-5B-4. If you are injured in an accident but you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the collision, insurance companies and their defense lawyers will attempt to argue that you would not have been injured – either not at all or significantly less so – if you were properly buckled in. In making this argument, the defense seeks to prove that you were "contributorily negligent" in causing the injuries that were suffered during the accident. To use this defense, however, the other driver's insurance company must prove that your unbuckled seatbelt contributed to, or was a cause of your injuries. In Alabama, however, failure to wear a seat belt can not considered evidence of contributory negligence.  Code of Ala. § 32-5B-7.

 


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