Can the seatbelt defense be used in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, plaintiffs can recover for the injuries that they sustain in a car accident so long as they are less than 51% responsible for what happened. One common way that insurance companies and defendants will try to argue that they are not liable for injuries is by claiming that the accident victim’s harm was caused by the fact that they were not wearing a seatbelt.

The concept of comparative negligence is applied to reduce the amount that a victim receives as financial compensation when they are partially to blame for their injuries. At some point, it would keep them from recovering at all if their actions were mostly responsible. The seatbelt defense argues that the larger share of the plaintiff’s injuries was caused by the fact that no seatbelt was used.

However, in Connecticut, victims can rest assured in knowing that the evidence of whether they were wearing a seatbelt cannot be used to reduce the amount of money that they may receive in a car accident settlement. In fact, Connecticut law specifically says that not wearing a seatbelt is not admissible, and this law was upheld by the state’s Supreme Court. The court may look at other ways that an accident victim was negligent, but failure to wear a seatbelt is not negligence in itself that would keep someone from being compensated for their injuries.

Those who have been injured in an accident and want to know their legal rights should consult with a motor vehicle accidents attorney. The lawyer could advise them on how to handle making the claim to the insurance company. The attorney might them further help their client by negotiating on their behalf as they seek a settlement agreement that would pay them for the harm that they suffered from someone else’s negligence.