LegalEagleStar

… a kind of Legal Column

Injured – but no belt

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Q  LAST  Saturday week a drunken driver ran into the rear of my car causing a lot of damage to both me and the car.

My doctor has advised me that my injuries are primarily whiplash. Does the fact that I wasn’t wearing a seat belt alter my insurance claim in any way?

A    YOU are under a legal duty to wear your seat belt while driving a motor car.

The same duty rests with the front seat passenger. It is a criminal offence to drive without your seat belt fastened and so you are liable to prosecution.

This does not mean of course that in your particular circumstances the Gardai will deem it necessary to prosecute you. The Insurance Company against whom your action will lie i.e. who will be the Insurance Company indemnifying the drunken driver, will almost without exception treat your failure to wear your seat belt as a major contribution to the severity of your injuries. My view is that regardless of whether you wear wearing your seat belt or not, you would more than likely be suffering whiplash. Be prepared to have your damages reduced by a percentage.

THE STAR  Friday  January 5, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 30, 2010 at 1:50 pm

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