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Staying unbuckled can now affect Texas car accident injury claims

Anyone who drives a vehicle in Texas and almost everyone who rides in one should be aware that Texas has a law that makes seat belts required for occupants of vehicles that are traveling on the roadways. While many people put on these safety belts, some people opt to not wear them. That could prove to be a devastating blow to anyone who is involved in an accident.

What most people don't think about is how these seat belts can affect claims for compensation that are made in the event of a car accident. For the past 40 years, seat belt use or the lack thereof wasn't admissible in court. That meant that complainants in personal injury cases could have opted not to wear a seat belt and have been injured because of that decision; however, that fact couldn't be considered in the personal injury lawsuit.

That premise has changed. The Texas Supreme Court has overturned a ruling for 1974 case that said that unbuckled passengers had a "safe harbor" from the "all-or-nothing scheme" that prevented them receiving compensation. With that ruling that occurred in February 2015, people who are unbuckled if an accident occurs might face a reduced award if it is determined that being unbuckled is considered contributory negligence.

For anyone who is injured in an accident, seeking compensation from the person who caused the accident is a right. Even if you weren't wearing a seat belt when you got into the accident, you can still seek compensation. You should seek out answers to your questions so you can learn how being unbuckled might affect your case.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Not wearing a seat belt may cost you more than a ticket" Feb. 24, 2015

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