Luckily, in Utah, we don’t think that is fair. The majority of states do not allow the seatbelt defense to limit an innocent plaintiff’s recovery and Utah is one of the majority. If you are in a car accident in Southern Utah, and it is not your fault, you will still be able to recover the full amount that your personal injury and property damage claims are worth even if you were not wearing a seat belt. This is true even though the motto in Utah is, “click it or ticket.” State law requires all occupants of a moving automobile to be wearing a seatbelt. If an officer observes a driver age nineteen or under not wearing a seatbelt, the officer may pull the driver over and issue a citation.
For adults over the age of nineteen, a ticket can still be given for failure to wear a seatbelt, but only if the driver is pulled over for another reason. Drivers are responsible to make sure that all occupants sixteen or under are either in proper car seats, or wearing a seatbelt, and they can be issued a separate citation for each passenger. Although, in Utah, we realize that seatbelts and safety are extremely important, we also realize that if we are driving along and another driver smashes into us, we should not be barred from a full recovery just because we were not wearing a seatbelt at the time. Car Accidents can happen at any time and an innocent victim forgetting to wear a seatbelt does not make the bad-driver any less at fault for his actions. If you have been in a car wreck, contact a good attorney whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt at the time.
This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.
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