How New York’s Seatbelt Law Affects Your Personal Injury Claim
The simplest way to ensure your safety when in a motor vehicle is by wearing a seatbelt. No matter if you are running a few errands close by or traveling out of town, car accidents can and do happen when you least expect it. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most fatal accidents happen at speeds less than 40 mph and often within just 25 miles from their home.
In 1984 seat belt rules were put in place but many people fail to follow them. Too often people riding in vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks feel that their vehicles are strong enough to withstand an accident and they choose not to wear a seatbelt. The data clearly shows that individuals that wear a seatbelt cut their chance of a fatal injury by 60 percent regardless of the type of vehicle they are in.
When looking at the data from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, almost 37 percent of New York’s highway deaths that occur every year can be linked back to car occupants not wearing a seat belt. This choice to not wear a seatbelt not only increases your chance for serious injury but can also keep you from being able to claim damages should an accident occur.
The Consequence of Not Following Safety Belt Laws in New York
An accident where one vehicle collides with another vehicle is only one way to get injured. There is also the collision of the persons inside the vehicle and the vehicle’s interior surfaces.
Seatbelts work because they restrict movement of the upper portion of the human body at the moment of an accident. This restriction is the reason injuries are less severe when seatbelts are properly worn.
When it comes to serious high-impact collisions, seatbelts keep individuals in the vehicle and prevent them from being ejected out. The NHTSA’s data shows that seatbelts cut the risk of critical injuries by 50 percent. Safety experts have shown that over two-thirds of fatalities in car accidents could have been prevented if the passengers had been wearing their seatbelts.
New York Laws Regarding Use of Restraints and Seatbelts
By law in New York State, any person 16 years of age or older has to wear a seatbelt when seated in the front seat of a vehicle. By not following the law the individual can get a ticket from law enforcement.
Any individual in the vehicle under the age of 16 needs to wear age-appropriate restraint regardless of where they sit within the vehicle. Children under the age of 4 have to be secured in a car safety seat. Children between the ages of 4 & 8 have to be in a booster seat.
Kids from ages 7 to 16 are required to wear seatbelts. Failure to follow these rules can result in a financial penalty as well as points on the license of the individual driving the vehicle.
As of November 1, 2020, New York now requires all passengers inside a vehicle to wear a seatbelt regardless of whether they are riding in the front or back seats. Vehicles with passengers not following the seat belt law can be pulled over and ticketed.
New York Seatbelt Defense Law
Similar to other states, New York has unique seatbelt defense laws that reduce the number of damages that can be recovered from personal injury claims from a car accident. If you are involved in an accident and claim compensation for personal injury, the damages you receive can be sharply lowered if it is proven that you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Should you happen to not wear one and sustain an injury in an accident caused by another party’s fault, you can lay claim for personal injury damage. You will want to get legal advice and guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney like those at McMahon Kublick in Syracuse, New York.
Contact a Syracuse Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyer Today
As anyone who has gone through injuries caused by a serious accident in New York can tell you, it can be a harrowing experience. Once you start to receive the necessary medical attention to help you recover from your injuries, it is absolutely important that you file for damages to help compensate you for the losses that you sustain.
At McMahon Kublick, PC we know the many challenges posed by the seatbelt defense law of New York. We have successfully thousands of accident victims seeking justice for the damages they sustained in accidents caused by the fault of another party. Let us put our experience to work for you so you get the compensation you are entitled to for your pain and suffering.
For a free confidential case review, call us today at (315) 291-1962 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.