Can I still claim if I wasn't wearing a seatbelt in a road accident?
Yes. The first question to ask is who was to blame for the accident? If another driver was to blame for the collision then you can claim against the other driver. The fact that you were not wearing a seatbelt does not change that.
Of course, unless you are exempt you should have been wearing a seatbelt, but failing to wear a seatbelt can never defeat a good claim. It can be 'contributory negligence' resulting in a deduction from your claim. The deduction is never higher than 25% and in some cases there is no deduction at all. The law has been settled for more than 20 years as a result of a case called Froom v Butcher:
- If you would have escaped the collision with no injuries if you had been wearing a seatbelt then you lose 25% of the value of your award.
- If you would have been injured even if you were wearing a seatbelt but your injuries would not have been severe you lose 15% of the value of your claim.
- If failing to wear a seatbelt has made no difference to the injuries you suffered, then there is no deduction from your compensation.
It is for the Defendant to prove that there should be a deduction. If you were not wearing a seatbelt ask us what the effect might be on your claim.
If you have any other questions call us free on 0800 048 2355 to speak to a member of our team between 8 am and 6 pm Monday to Friday. Outside of those hours you can leave us a message on the same phone number, or alternatively complete the Online Enquiry Form at the bottom of this page with a brief description of your accident and we will get back to you as soon as possible.