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How Not Wearing a Seatbelt Factors into Car Accident Claims


Earlier this year, a drunk driving accident led to a fatality on the Nashville roadways. A 25 year old was driving a Chevrolet Impala while having a blood alcohol level over three times the legal limit. A 62-year-old passenger was in the back seat and not wearing his seat belt when the Impala crossed the double yellow line on Haywood Lane and crashed into a Nissan Altima. Sadly, the passenger in the back died as a result of his injuries. This is not a unique occurrence, and it is important to know how not wearing a seatbelt can factor into later personal injury or wrongful death claims.

At Mitch Grissim & Associates, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is here to answer all your questions after a car accident and provide you with zealous legal representation for your compensation claims. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

Compensation for Car Accident Claims 

Compensation for victims injured in car accidents includes damages for both economic and noneconomic harm suffered in the crash. Economic damages include compensation for all medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages compensate an injury victim for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.

In fatal car accident cases, the family of the victim may also seek compensation for wrongful death. This includes damages for all final medical expenses, funeral costs, burial costs, and for the loss of future income and benefits of the victim.

 Tennessee’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule 

Tennessee uses a modified comparative fault rule when determining the final award of compensation in a car accident and other personal injury claims. This means that the court determines the degree of fault for every party involved in the accident and reduces their overall award by that percentage. However, in Tennessee if you are found fifty percent or more at fault for the damages caused in the accident you can be barred completely from recovery. For example, if an injury victim suffers $100,000 in damages and is found 25 percent at fault, the total compensation is reduced to $75,000; however, in the same example if that person is found 50 percent at fault they receive nothing.

Whether or not an injury victim is wearing a seatbelt can have a significant impact when it comes to determining the degree of fault for damages in an accident. In many cases, injury victims receive less in compensation when the argument is made that they would have been injured less if they were obeying the law. To learn more about how wearing a seatbelt may impact your case, talk to a lawyer today. 

Reach Out to Us Today for Help 

Do you have questions about the degree of fault in your car accident case or wish to speak to a knowledgeable Nashville personal injury attorney about your claim? If so, call the office or contact us today at Mitch Grissim & Associates to schedule a free evaluation of your injury claims now.

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