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Failing to Wear Your Seatbelt can Damage Your Wallet as Well as your Health

Road accident lawyer, Caroline Hudson, looks at the financial impact of failing to wear a seatbelt

Mr E from Swansea, in South Wales, sustained serious injuries as a result of a head on collision. The driver of the vehicle in which he was travelling was responsible for the accident and he made a successful personal injury claim against the Defendant.

Gross compensation of more than £42,000 was agreed following negotiations between solicitors.

Despite his injuries and the continuing problems these have caused him, Mr E only took a short time off work. To his great credit he managed to keep working through much of his discomfort. The vast majority of his compensation was awarded for what lawyers call his ‘pain and suffering.’

Mr E openly admitted that he had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. Medical evidence confirmed that had he been wearing his seatbelt his injuries would not have been as severe. As a result of this, his compensation was reduced by 25% on the basis that he was partially responsible for his injuries. This is known as contributory negligence.

As a general rule, if the injuries suffered in an accident were likely to have been minimised by wearing a seatbelt, then the claimant’s compensation will be reduced by around 25% for failure to wear a seatbelt. Only if it can be demonstrated that failure to wear a seatbelt had absolutely no impact on the severity of the injuries sustained in the road accident can you argue that the level of compensation should not be reduced.

Our Swansea client therefore ended up receiving a net compensation award of £32,000.00 – £10,500.00 less than the gross figure.

This case acts as a salutary reminder to motorists and passengers alike that failure to wear a seatbelt can damage you financially as well as physically.

At least the client got to receive all of the net compensation paid under our 100% guarantee, without any deductions or hidden charges,

If you have been involved in a road accident and require FREE legal advice about claiming compensation for your injury or you need guidance about the effect that failure to wear a seatbelt can have on your entitlement to compensation then give us a call on 0808 139 1590 or email us at lee.dawkins@sleeblackwell.co.uk anytime, including evenings and weekends.