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Does Seat Belt Use Affect Compensation in Tennessee Car Accidents?

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Campbell County personal injury compensation lawyer

Tennessee law requires drivers and passengers of moving vehicles to wear safety restraints (seat belts) at all times while the car is in motion. Not only do restraint systems keep the occupants from moving around inside the car, but they also can help prevent an injury that can result from a car accident. While some restraints have been shown to cause injuries such as whiplash or broken ribs, seat belts protect against worse bodily damage and even can prevent death due to a collision. Whether or not an accident happens, a person can be ticketed for not using a seat belt while operating a motor vehicle. It is important to understand what the law says about seat belt use and how it relates to receiving compensation in a vehicle crash.

What Does Tennessee Law Say?

According to the law, drivers and passengers over the age of four years old are required to wear a seat belt if they are in a moving vehicle. The only exception to this law is for vehicles that are used as public transportation or livery vehicles such as limousines, which do not have seat belts available to passengers.

Violators of this law are ticketed and given a Class C misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine that is donated to victims of car accidents who sustained a disability as a result of their collision, according to Tennessee law.

Some cases may lead to court; however, a violator can bypass the court if he or she:

  • Pays a $30 fine for a first offense

  • Pays a $55 fine for a second or subsequent offense

These fines are to be paid to the clerk of the county in which the traffic violation was issued and then divided within the state general fund.

Tennessee law also states that drivers of the moving vehicle are only responsible for themselves and passengers under the age of 16. Anyone over 16 years old who is caught within a moving vehicle without a seat belt will be ticketed separately from the driver.

Compensation After a Collision

If a driver is hurt in an auto accident while not wearing a seat belt, this will have no effect on his or her ability to collect monetary compensation for his or her injuries. Tennessee has another law that prohibits someone from claiming he or she should not have to pay damages just because the victim who was injured was not wearing a seat belt. The driver not wearing a seat belt can still be ticketed, but he or she can also still collect compensation to help with medical bills.

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Personal Injury Attorney

A lot of drivers believe that they will not receive compensation after a car accident if they did not have their seat belts fastened. However, they can still seek damages and compensation for costly medical bills or lost wages. The lawyers of the Law Office of William F. Evans can decipher the evidence of the case and make sure your rights are not violated. To schedule a free consultation with a Campbell County car accident lawyer, call our office today at 423-449-7980.

 

Sources:

https://advance.lexis.com/api/document/collection/statutes-legislation/id/4X8K-TFT0-R03N-44CF-00008-00?cite=Tenn.%20Code%20Ann.%20%C2%A7%2055-9-603&context=1000516

https://advance.lexis.com/api/document/collection/statutes-legislation/id/4X8K-TFT0-R03N-44CG-00008-00?cite=Tenn.%20Code%20Ann.%20%C2%A7%2055-9-604&context=1000516

 

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