As a Miami Dade County car crash attorney, I see a lot of people injured from traffic accidents. I am sure that everyone knows that seat belts are designed to save lives. What people are often surprised to learn, is that failure to use an operational seat-belt may end up costing a person the ability to obtain compensation in a car accident.
Florida Statutes §316.614 makes it unlawful to drive in Florida unless each passenger under 18 years old and the driver are restrained by a safety belt or by a child restraint device. This is true of front seat passengers too, regardless of age.
Many people are surprised to learn that if they are in an accident caused by an-other’s carelessness, they may not receive compensation for their injuries if they failed to use a seat-belt. This is commonly referred to as the seat-belt defense. Florida law allows for application of the seat belt defense, which could reduce a plaintiff’s damages a “comparative negligence” or a “failure to mitigate damages” theory.
Our Florida car wreck law-firm advises drivers and passengers to buckle up, not just to save your life, but to save your case if you are injured through no fault of your own.