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It’s a common story, and perhaps one you’re living through yourself: You were driving through jammed Manhattan streets in stop-and-go traffic. The traffic ahead of you slowed down, and so did you. Suddenly, you felt the car behind you slam into you, resulting in your chest being violently thrown into the steering wheel, fracturing your sternum. Having thought you’d only be in the car for a short trip, you hadn’t put on your seat belt. You believed that, since the other driver rear-ended you, the other driver was at fault for the accident. But when you filed a claim for money damages based on your injuries, you found out that the other driver was asserting the seat belt defense, claiming that you weren’t entitled to the money you needed to compensate you for your injuries.
What is the seat belt defense? How does it work? Is there any way for an accident victim to nevertheless recover damages when the seat belt defense applies? Learn more about the New York seat belt defense below, and contact Manhattan car accident victim attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes with any additional questions you may have.
New York state law mandates that drivers and passengers wear seat belts whenever they’re on the road. The defendant in a New York accident lawsuit can use the seat belt defense to reduce the amount of damages they owe to the injured plaintiff. If successfully applied, the damages owed by the defendant will not include the amount that the victim’s costs could have been reduced had they been wearing a seat belt. This defense has become controversial in the legal world; in fact, 31 states no longer allow use of the seat belt defense.
One thing is certain: if you’ve been the victim of a serious crash and the negligent driver has claimed that the seat belt defense applies, you’ll need skilled legal representation that will go above and beyond to fight for your damages. Manhattan car accident attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes has been fighting on behalf of accident victims for years, and he understands how to counter the seat belt defense through the sophisticated use of evidence and argument. For example, some research done on seat belt effectiveness is flawed in that it uses dummies that do not accurately represent how a human being would fare in a crash, making the data produced by those studies inaccurate. Skilled attorneys for victims can produce their own experts who can explain why the crash victim would not have avoided injury to as great an extent as the defendant’s evidence might lead a jury to believe. Contact Manhattan accident lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes today to discuss your options after a New York car crash.
For a no-cost consultation after an accident in New York City, contact the seasoned, effective, and trial-ready Manhattan personal injury lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes at 212-889-9362, or in Queens at 718-777-5895.