No-Seatbelt Road Accident Compensation Claims
Have you suffered a no-seatbelt road accident that was caused by negligence? If you’ve been in a road traffic accident and suffered injuries while not wearing a seatbelt, you may wonder if you can claim compensation. In short, the answer is yes; however, it may differ from a straightforward claim for compensation after an accident on the road.
Following your no-seatbelt accident, you may have questions such as:
- What duty of care do road users owe one another?
- What is the reduction in damages for failing to wear a seatbelt?
- How can the Whiplash Reforms affect my claim?
When Can You Claim For A No-Seatbelt Road Accident?
In order to make a road traffic accident claim, you generally must prove that the accident that caused your injuries was caused by a breach of duty of care. However, when you suffer injuries while you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, You could be considered to have contributed to the injuries that you sustain. But this does not mean that you can’t make a claim– it only means that your compensation may be reduced.
In 2021, the government changed how drivers and passengers over the age of 18 claim compensation for injuries valued at £5,000 or below. Now, anyone meeting these criteria must claim through the government’s new online portal.
Get In Touch With Our Team
Since the personal injury claims process can be daunting to navigate alone, it’s recommended that you work with a road traffic solicitor. A knowledgeable and experienced No Win No Fee solicitor can work with you to help you gather evidence for your claim.
You can contact our team of advisers today for free legal advice about claiming for a car accident with no seatbelt. Once they’ve assessed your claim and determined that it is valid, they can connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel to work on your claim.
We recommend you get in touch with our friendly team of advisers by:
- Calling them on 020 3870 4868
- Starting your claim online
- Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About No-Seatbelt Road Accident Claims
- What Is A No-Seatbelt Road Accident?
- How Does A Seat Belt Work?
- Regulations And Legislation On The Wearing Of Seatbelts
- What Are The Penalties For Not Wearing A Seatbelt?
- Calculating Compensation For No-Seatbelt Road Accident Injuries
- What Happens When You Don’t Wear A Seatbelt During A Crash?
- What Is Contributory Negligence, And Will It Affect My Claim?
- How Is Liability Worked Out When Passengers Were Not Wearing Seatbelts?
- How Much Time Do You Have To Claim For A Road Traffic Accident?
- I Suffered A No-Seatbelt Road Accident Injury, What Should I Do?
- Do You Handle No-Seatbelt Road Accident Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Other Information
- FAQs About No-Seatbelt Road Accidents
This guide will discuss road accident claims in depth. Firstly, it’ll look at what a no-seatbelt road accident is and how a seatbelt works to keep you and others safe. Next, we have included a section discussing the regulations and legislation on wearing seatbelts, along with the penalties for not wearing one.
We have also included a guideline compensation table, to help you estimate how much compensation you could receive for your injuries. The introduction of the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 might affect your claim; we will explain exactly how in a bit more detail.
Next, the article will explore what could happen if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt during a crash. This will be followed by a section answering the question, ‘what is contributory negligence?’ and discussing how it could affect your claim. Moreover, we will look at the personal injury claims time limit so you know how long you have to start proceedings.
Additionally, the guide will explain what you should do if you’ve suffered a no-seatbelt road accident in anticipation of pursuing a claim. There will also be a section looking at what a No Win No Fee agreement is and the benefits of funding legal representation in this way. Finally, the article will finish with some additional information and an FAQ section that we hope you will find informative.
Although statistics regarding no-seatbelt road accidents aren’t readily available to the public, we can look at the number of overall reported road traffic accidents from 2016 to 2020.
The graph below portrays statistics from the Department for Transport showing the number of serious injuries sustained in reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain in 2016-2020. There were 30,267 reported serious injuries due to road traffic accidents in 2016, compared to 22,069 recorded in 2020.
A seat belt works to prevent you from being injured if you are involved in a car accident, or if the car brakes suddenly. The seatbelt senses when the vehicle stops moving abruptly and locks in place when you jolt forward.
This can help ensure those in the front seats are not at risk of being propelled through the windshield, consequently preventing serious injuries. It can also prevent passengers in the back from being thrown forward into the back of the chair in front or into the front of the vehicle,
- Where you’re medically exempt and are carrying a medical exemption certificate
- Where you’re reversing your vehicle or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
- If you’re driving a goods vehicle on deliveries and you’re travelling no more than 50m between stops
The law also states that only one person may sit in each seat, and that children must sit in a car seat until they reach 135 cm in height or turn 12 years old, whichever is first.
For more information on when you may be able to claim for a no-seatbelt road accident, speak with one of our advisors today.
Each adult passenger has a responsibility to wear a seatbelt whilst travelling in a vehicle. It’s not the drivers’ responsibility to ensure adult passengers wear seatbelts, so any passengers who don’t wear a seatbelt could face a fine.
The consequence of not wearing a seatbelt could be a fine of up to £500. However, drivers are responsible for ensuring that anyone under the age of 14 who is travelling in their vehicle is wearing the correct restrains. If a child under the age of 14 is not in the correct car seat or wearing a seatbelt while you are driving, then you could receive a fine of up to £500.
Although there are penalties for not wearing a seatbelt, you may still be able to make a personal injury claim if you were wearing no seatbelt in a road accident and have suffered injuries that were caused by negligence. You contact our team of advisers today to learn more about the road accident claims process.
You may be wondering “how much compensation could I receive for a no-seatbelt road accident caused by negligence?” If so, this section could help. In lieu of a compensation calculator, we’ve compiled the latest figures from the Judicial College Guidelines in the table below to help you instead.
Please note that if you are a driver or road accident passenger over the age of 18 and your injuries are worth £5000 or less, these figures do not apply. The Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 outlines how much you could receive in these instances.
|Mental Anguish (e)||Severe||Fear of impending death.||£4,380|
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a)||Severe||Cases where there is no ability to function at the pre-trauma level.||£56,180 to £94,470|
|Brain Damage (c) (i)||Moderate||Moderate to severe intellectual deficit, risk of epilepsy, and effect on speech, sight, and other senses.||£140,870 to £205,580|
|Complete Loss of Sight in One Eye (f)||N/A||Complete loss of sight in one eye, with consideration given to risk of sympathetic ophthalmia and regional scarring.||£46,240 to £51,460|
|Neck Injuries (b) (i)||Moderate||Fractures or dislocations causing severe immediate symptoms that may necessitate spinal fusion.||£23,460 to £36,120|
|Chest Injuries (b)||Traumatic||Injuries to chest, lungs or heart causing permanent damage and disability.||£61,710 to £94,470|
|Digestive System Injuries (a) (iii)||Traumatic||Cases of seatbelt pressure injuries.||£6,190 to £11,820|
|Back Injuries (b) (i)||Moderate||Compression/crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae with substantial risk of osteoarthritis.||£26,050 to £36,390|
|Shoulder Injuries (a)||Severe||Associated with neck injuries and involves damage to the brachial plexus.||£18,020 to £45,070|
|Simple Fracture of the Forearm (d)||N/A||Simple forearm fractures.||£6,190 to £18,020|
General damages award compensation for the injury itself and the mental and physical effects it has had on your life; these are outlined in the table above. Special damages compensate for the financial effect the injury has on you. You need to provide evidence to receive special damages, such as payslips to prove loss of earnings if you have had to take time off work.
Our team of advisers can estimate how much compensation you could be awarded for your no-seatbelt road accident resulting from negligence.
A no-seatbelt road accident can be extremely dangerous and can leave you with severe, life-threatening injuries. Seatbelts are designed to make vehicles safer, and it’s the law that you must wear one when travelling on the road.
If you fail to wear a seatbelt and you’re involved in a crash, you could sustain:
- A brain injury because your head collides with the steering wheel or the seat in front
- Fractured bones, for example, a broken ankle or a skull fracture, because you’re thrown from the vehicle
- Cuts and lacerations if you scrape across the road after the collision
You can contact our team of advisers for advice today to find out what you need to know about road traffic accident claims.
Contributory negligence is the term used to describe a situation in which you’re determined to have contributed to the severity of your injuries through your action or inaction.
Unlike a split liability claim, this does not mean that you’re considered partially at fault for the accident occurring. The actual circumstances of the accident may be completely down to the negligence of the other road user. However, if you’re considered to have made your injuries worse because you failed to wear a seatbelt, this could affect your claim.
You may have to take a reduction in your damages if you are found partially liable for not wearing a seatbelt. Following case law such as Froom & Ors v Butcher, if it’s proven that the injuries would’ve been prevented if the injured person wore a belt, the damages are reduced up to 25%. Essentially, the reduction to your compensation will generally be in line with your liability.
If the injury would’ve been less severe if the injured person had worn a seatbelt, the damages are usually reduced by 15%. If it’s ruled that wearing a seatbelt wouldn’t have lessened the injuries, your compensation may not be reduced at all. However, its important to note that this only applies to injuries that are affected by the wearing of a seatbelt. In the case above, the damages for a broken finger were not impacted because this was not affected by the wearing of a seatbelt.
Adult passengers are responsible for ensuring that they’re wearing a seatbelt while required in a car. This means that, if an accident happened and they are claiming for injuries that could have been prevented by wearing a seatbelt, they will be subject to the contributory negligence reduction in damages.
However, children under the age of 14 are not responsible for wearing their own seatbelts. Instead, it falls on the driver of the vehicle to ensure that they’re wearing a seatbelt and in the correct kind of car seat.
This means that a child under the age of 14 will not have their compensation reduced on the grounds of contributory negligence if they are not wearing a seatbelt and their injuries are worse as a result.
To get more information about split liability, contact our advisors today.
Generally, the personal injury claims time limit is three years. This is from the exact date the accident took place or from when you connected your injuries with negligence.
However, if you’re under 18, the three-year time limit starts on the day of your 18th birthday. If you’d like to begin the personal injury claim earlier, someone else can become a litigation friend to pursue the claim on your behalf, and the time limit for them to do so is suspended.
If you lack the mental capacity to claim, the three-year time limit only begins if recovery commences. During this time, someone can act as a litigation friend to file the claim for you at any point.
Contact our team of expert advisers today to learn more about the time limits for road accident claims
If you’ve suffered a no-seatbelt road accident that wasn’t your fault, seek medical attention. This is important for your own health and wellbeing, but it can also support your claim. Any medical reports or notes made by a medical professional can strengthen your claim.
Furthermore, you should collect evidence. You can take photographs of the scene of the accident, and ask witnesses for their contact details so that they can provide a statement at a later date.
If you choose to hire legal representation, a No Win No Fee solicitor can help you gather evidence to help strengthen your claim. This could be CCTV footage, photos of your injuries or witness statements.
A No Win No Fee agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is a way to access legal counsel without the financial risk associated with doing so in the usual way. If your case is unsuccessful, you don’t have to pay any of your solicitor’s fees. You also won’t pay them anything up front or as the claim progresses.
If your case is successful, your solicitor will take a legally-capped percentage of your award. This ensures that they won’t overcharge you.
You can contact our team of advisers today to find out more by:
- Calling 020 3870 4868.
- Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen.
- Beginning your personal injury claim online.
What To Do If A Whiplash Claim Is Refused: Following the changes to legislation in the UK, the way you make whiplash claims are different. This article will explain these changes, and what to do following a claim refusal.
Pedestrian Accident Claims: This article explains how to make a road traffic accident claim if you are a pedestrian.
Vulnerable Road User Accident Claims: In this article, we explain how vulnerable road users may be able to claim compensation following an accident that wasn’t their fault.
Road Traffic Act 1988: This piece of legislation outlines the laws and rules of the road.
When to call 999: This NHS guide explains when to call 999.
THINK! Road safety campaign: THINK! is a government campaign providing more information on road safety.
Can you get whiplash without wearing a seatbelt?
Whiplash is caused by the head and neck making a back-and-forward motion due to a collision. This can occur when you’re not wearing a seatbelt.
Is not wearing a seatbelt contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence occurs when you act in a way that causes your injuries to be worse than they otherwise would have been.
What is the reduction in damages for failing to wear a seatbelt?
According to case law regarding Froom & Ors v Butcher, if wearing a seatbelt could’ve prevented serious injuries, the reduction in damages is 25%. If it could’ve lessened the injuries, the reduction is 15%.
If you have more questions on claiming for injuries sustained in a no-seatbelt road accident, speak with an advisor today.
Checked by NC/HP