Can I Still File a Car Accident Claim If I Wasn’t Wearing a Seatbelt? Understanding Your Legal Options

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you might be concerned about your ability to file a claim. At Wendt Law, we understand the nuances of car accident claims and are dedicated to helping you through this situation.

Don’t let your doubts prevent you from seeking the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 816-542-6734 for a free initial case evaluation and let us guide you through your legal options.

Seatbelt Laws and Their Impact on Car Accident Claims

A woman clicking in her seatbelt.In Kansas City, state law mandates that adult passengers in the front seats of motor vehicles, including certain trucks, wear seat belts. Wearing seat belts is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial safety measure. Additionally, children aged 4 to 7 must be properly restrained in booster seats. The consequences of non-compliance can be steep, with penalties plus court costs for having an unrestrained child in the vehicle.

Not wearing a seatbelt can affect your claim options, but it’s not a complete bar to recovery. While car insurance claims can be minimized by insurance companies if a seatbelt was not worn during the accident, Kansas law does not permit the use of the seatbelt defense to reduce compensation. Kansas City’s adult safety belt law authorizes police officers to stop and ticket drivers or front seat passengers not wearing a seatbelt, with back seat passengers also subject to citations under certain conditions.

Keep in mind that your entitlement to file an insurance claim remains intact, even if you were not wearing a seatbelt during a car crash. However, the insurance adjusters might argue that you contributed to your own car accident injuries by not wearing a safety belt, potentially affecting your compensation. In such scenarios, the knowledge of car accident lawyers becomes indispensable for your personal injury lawsuit. 

Filing a Car Accident Claim Without Wearing a Seatbelt

Despite the potential challenges, individuals can still file a car accident claim even if they were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the vehicle accident. While insurance coverage will still apply, compensation may be reduced due to perceived contributory negligence.

Still, regardless of whether a seatbelt was worn or not, individuals have a right to compensation after an accident. Significant damages may still be recovered by effectively establishing fault and damages. Should insurance adjusters try to attribute fault to the injured party for not wearing a seatbelt to minimize claim payouts, obtaining legal advice becomes highly important.

Comparative Negligence and Its Effect on Your Claim

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that acknowledges that a victim may bear some responsibility for their own injuries, such as when not wearing a seatbelt in a car accident. The Seat Belt Defense is a legal argument that aims to reduce compensation on these grounds. Under this principle, the failure to wear a seatbelt, considered a form of failing to mitigate damages, can lead to a reduction in compensation proportional to the victim’s degree of fault, which may also include the driver’s negligence.

However, the various states have different approaches to the Seat Belt Defense. For instance, in Missouri, there are limitations on attributing fault for not wearing a seatbelt, while in Kansas, the Seat Belt Defense is completely disallowed. This diversity in legal approaches emphasizes why one should consult experienced car accident lawyers who know the specific seat belt laws and defenses in your state. We at Wendt Law are adept in understanding the differences between states in Kansas City, which can be doubly important with your case has taken place across state lines.

Wendt Law’s Personal Injury Experience

The nuances of seat belt laws and car accident claims can prove to be challenging to understand. That’s where Wendt Law comes into play. Our firm is renowned for its successful representation in personal injury cases, particularly within Missouri and Kansas, often securing maximum compensation for victims. Our attorneys, with over 50 years of combined experience and more than 1,000 successful cases across various jurisdictions, are committed to fighting for justice for our clients.

Car Accidents

At Wendt Law, we handle car accident claims with utmost dedication and professionalism. Our services can include:

  • Representing clients in cases involving multiple parties
  • Handling cases with severe injuries
  • Assisting with wrongful death claims
  • Resolving disputes over liability
  • Helping clients with uninsured and underinsured motorist claims to recover compensation when the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance coverage.

Our attorneys excel at negotiating with insurance companies to secure settlements that accurately represent the actual costs of clients’ injuries and losses. If a fair agreement cannot be reached with the specific insurance company involved, we are prepared to litigate aggressively, ensuring that our clients’ rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents frequently lead to serious injuries and present complex legal challenges. Wendt Law possesses a background in managing these claims, offering seasoned legal representation aimed at securing equitable compensation for injuries resulting from such incidents. We have a broad history of dealing with various scenarios including:

  • multi-vehicle pileups
  • jackknife and rear-end collisions
  • underride and override accidents
  • accidents caused by drunk or drowsy driving
  • tire blowouts
  • lost cargo
  • catastrophic injuries
  • fatalities

In truck accident cases, identifying the responsible parties is crucial. Our attorneys are skilled in pinpointing the liable parties, which can span from trucking firms, product manufacturers, maintenance teams, cargo handlers, to property owners.

Motorcycle Accidents

Certain motor vehicle crashes like motorcycle accidents can be particularly devastating due to the exposure of riders. At Wendt Law, we represent clients involved in such accidents, guiding them through the legal remedies available and advocating for their rights in the civil court system. We are known for our experience in representing motorcycle accident victims specifically in Kansas City.

Our goal is to ensure that our clients ultimately recover the compensation they deserve to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. We strive to ease the burden on our clients, allowing them to focus on recovery while we handle the legal side of things.

Other Practice Areas at Wendt Law

While our handling of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents is extensive, our services at Wendt Law are not limited to these areas. We also can handle a variety of personal injury cases, including:

  • Pedestrian incidents
  • Sexual abuse
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Rideshare accidents

No matter the nature of your case, you can trust our team of experienced attorneys to represent your interests passionately and diligently. We want to be your advocate.

Evidence and Witnesses in Car Accident Claims

In car accident claims, especially those involving seatbelt non-use, the significance of witnesses and evidence is paramount. Witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and biomechanical engineers provide crucial testimony that establishes the facts of the accident, helping to determine liability and the extent of damages.

Such evidence can be instrumental in challenging the ‘Seat Belt Defense’, showing that the injuries sustained could have occurred regardless of seatbelt use, or disputing the relevance of government seatbelt test accuracy to the specific incident. Evidence such as medical reports and accident reconstruction is essential in establishing the causation of injuries and their severity, which is critical when seatbelt use is in question and could affect compensation.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Advice

Retaining a personal injury attorney becomes a vital step for someone injured in a car accident without wearing a seatbelt, given its significant impact on the outcome of their claim. At Wendt Law, we provide free initial case evaluations and only charge legal fees when clients win their case, offering financial relief during the legal process. Our attorneys can handle the legal issues, ensuring the injured party is fairly compensated for their losses despite the potential challenges of not wearing a seatbelt.

Initiating discussions with a personal injury attorney soon after sustaining injuries paves the way for prompt legal advice and the opportunity to launch a thorough legal investigation, including personal injury lawsuits. With our team of experienced attorneys by your side, you can confidently take on the legal landscape of car accident claims.

How Wendt Law Can Help You

The complexities of seatbelt laws and their impact on car accident claims necessitate the involvement of experienced car accident lawyers. Despite the potential challenges of filing a claim when not wearing a seatbelt, with the right legal guidance, victims can still secure compensation for their injuries. Comparative negligence, which might reduce the compensation, varies by state, further underscoring the need for skilled legal representation.

At Wendt Law, we bring decades of experience to the table, helping victims navigate their car accident claims. Whether your case involves a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, we are committed to fighting for justice for our clients. Reach out to us at 816-542-6734 for a free initial case evaluation and take the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you sue if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt?

Yes, you can still sue for injuries sustained in a car accident even if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. There is no legal barrier preventing you from filing a lawsuit in this situation.

What happens if you don’t wear a seatbelt in a car accident?

If you don’t wear a seatbelt in a car accident, you are more likely to sustain severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and may be thrown throughout or ejected from the vehicle, increasing the risk of fatality.

What is comparative negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that recognizes a victim may bear some responsibility for their own injuries in certain situations, like not wearing a seatbelt in a car accident.

What if the accident was partly my fault? Can I still get compensated?

Yes, you can still receive compensation even if the accident was partly your fault. This is due to the principle of comparative negligence, which allows for a reduction in compensation based on your percentage of fault in the accident.

How can Wendt Law help me if I was not wearing a seatbelt during a car accident?

Wendt Law can provide legal guidance, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for maximum compensation for your injuries if you were not wearing a seatbelt during a car accident.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.