Three people were transported to the hospital in serious condition in a two-car wreck on the inner Man o’ War Loop at Jocasta Drive. According to police the accident just before 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 9, 2019, when an SUV and a minivan collided.
It’s unknown at this time how the accident happened, but police say that the injuries were made more serious because the injured weren’t wearing their seat belts. “I really think if both of them had been wearing seat belts this would have been a minor crash, we would have done collision paperwork and sent them on their way,” said an officer at the scene.
Seatbelts and Accidents
There’s little doubt that seatbelts save lives. Multiple studies have shown that wearing a seatbelt will significantly reduce the risk of injury and keep seriously injured people from becoming fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017 alone, it’s estimated that seatbelts saved over 14,000 lives.
This is based on other studies that showed in crashes where someone wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, almost 50 percent of the people who were unrestrained died. This means that anytime someone is in an accident and the don’t wear their seatbelt, they have a 50/50 chance of being killed.
What if I got Injured While not Wearing a Seatbelt?
Many people are under the assumption that if they are injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault and they weren’t wearing their seatbelt, that they couldn’t collect compensation for their injuries.
This isn’t true. The primary focus of a personal injury claim is proving the other person negligent. This means that the alleged at-fault driver must have done something that unreasonably put others in danger of being injured, and that in doing so, people were injured.
This is a general summary of what negligence is, and it is a requirement twhen seeking a claim for personal injury. However, if the injured person is negligent too, this can reduce or even eliminate their claim depending on how the law works in the state were the accident is.
Kentucky uses comparative negligence as a means of dividing responsibility for an accident. When an accident occurs, the court will look at what percentage of fault each driver has and then assign the damages based on that percentage. If total injuries were $10,000 and one driver is 80 percent at fault, then he or she will pay 80 percent or $8,000.
In Kentucky, the court will also look at the use of a seatbelt (or non-use) and might assign a percentage of blame for the injuries based on the lack of being restrained. Then the injured person’s compensation will be reduced by that percentage, but not eliminated.
Bottom line, if you are injured in an accident and weren’t wearing your seatbelt, don’t let the insurance company or their high-priced lawyers tell you that you can’t be compensated.
Do I need an Attorney?
Anytime you are injured by someone else’s negligence, you should at least talk to an attorney who can evaluate your case and give you unbiased advice The attorneys at Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC, will give you the unbiased truth about your case and have a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443 or click here to contact them online.