In Two-Car Crash, Seatbelts May Have Been the Difference Between Life and Death
A two-car crash in Central Florida blocked traffic on a two-lane roadway for several hours as Florida Highway Patrol troopers investigated the crash and Marion County Fire Rescue officials removed victims from both of the vehicles. According to troopers, a Mazda being driven by a 21-year-old man from Summerfield, Florida, crossed the center lane, causing a head-on collision with a Chrysler being driven by a 48-year-old woman from Citra, Florida. Both drivers sustained serious injuries, but only the 21-year-old man’s injuries were fatal. Authorities said that he was not wearing his seatbelt. The woman driving the Chrysler was flown to Ocala Regional Medical Center to receive treatment. She was wearing her seatbelt and is recovering from critical injuries.
Wear Your Seatbelt to Avoid Being Liable for Some of Your Injuries
Florida is a “pure comparative fault” state, which means that if your own actions are partially responsible for your injuries, then you can only recover the percent for which the other party is responsible. For example, if you are injured in a car crash and you are not wearing a seatbelt, you likely will not be able to recover for the full extent of the harm that you suffered if wearing a seatbelt would have prevented some or all of your injuries. In other words, if you are 25% at fault for your injuries, then you can only recover 75% of your damages. Even if you are an extremely careful driver and followed every traffic rule, not wearing your seatbelt could reduce the award to which you are legally entitled.
Seat Belts Are the Single Most Effective Safety Step You Can Take While Driving
Aside from the legal reasons why it is beneficial to wear a seatbelt, it is also important because it is the single most effective thing you can do to prevent death and injury while driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seatbelts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50%. Although airbags combined with seatbelts provide the greatest protection for adults, airbags alone are not a substitute for seat belts. It is recommended that you use a seatbelt on every trip, no matter how short. Parents can also play an important role in making sure children develop good seat belt habits. Parents can make sure children are properly buckled, encourage everyone in the back seat to buckle up, and set a good example by buckling up on every trip.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP. Our attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP will treat you with the utmost respect throughout the process, and will use our experience to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Feel free to contact us today.