Under Nevada law, all motor vehicle occupants – in both the front and rear seats of a car or truck – must wear either a seat belt or be in an approved child restraining system. (There are some exceptions for older cars that do not have seatbelts.) Despite this, almost 1,300 people who were unbelted were seriously injured or killed between 2009 and 2013. The Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan has launched an initiative to reduce to zero the number of automobile accident fatalities involving occupants who are not wearing seatbelts.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault (regardless of whether you were wearing a seat belt), a Reno car accident lawyer can help you collect compensation for your injuries and accident-related expenses.
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Who Is Most Likely to Be Unbelted?
According to a fact sheet provided by the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan, unbelted vehicle occupants who suffer serious injuries or are fatally killed are most likely to be male drivers between the ages of 26 and 35 years old. Across all age groups, unbelted men are more likely to be seriously injured or killed.
Between 2009 and 2013:
- 39 unbelted boys aged one to 15 suffered serious injuries and 11 were killed, compared to 47 girls who were seriously hurt and 6 who were killed
- 87 unbelted boys aged 16 to 20 suffered serious injuries and 29 were killed, compared to 51 girls who were seriously hurt and 14 who were killed
- 90 unbelted men aged 21 to 25 suffered serious injuries and 33 were killed, compared to 64 women who were seriously hurt and 17 who were killed
- 126 unbelted men aged 26 to 35 suffered serious injuries and 42 were killed, compared to 65 women who were seriously hurt and 23 who were killed
- 94 unbelted men aged 36 to 45 suffered serious injuries and 29 were killed, compared to 60 women who were seriously hurt and 19 who were killed
- 66 unbelted men aged 46 to 55 suffered serious injuries and 32 were killed, compared to 37 women who were seriously hurt and 12 who were killed
- 47 unbelted men aged 56 to 65 suffered serious injuries and 29 were killed, compared to 21 women who were seriously hurt and 9 who were killed
- 37 unbelted men aged 66 and older suffered serious injuries and 15 were killed, compared to 11 women who were seriously hurt and 15 who were killed
When & Where Do Accidents Occur?
Of those auto accidents involving unbelted motor vehicle occupants, 63 percent occurred in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, and 37 percent occurred elsewhere in Nevada. Sixty-six percent of those who were injured were driving on urban roads while 34 percent of the accidents occurred on rural roads.
Unbelted injuries and fatalities occur every day of the week, but – not surprisingly – there’s an uptick on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
If You’ve Been Injured in an Automobile Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car crash that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation under Nevada’s personal injury laws. If a family member was killed in such an accident, then survivors may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. If your Reno car accident lawyer is able to successfully negotiate a settlement or win in court, you may collect money to pay for medical expenses, damaged or destroyed property, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term disability.
Nevada uses something called a modified comparative negligence law when calculating how much money a personal injury victim can receive. The law specifically states:
“In any action to recover damages for death or injury to persons or for injury to property in which comparative negligence is asserted as a defense, the comparative negligence of the plaintiff or his decedent does not bar a recovery if that negligence was not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.”
In plain English, as long as the accident victim bears no more than 50 percent of the blame for his or her accident and injuries, then the victim can recover money from the responsible party. However, any award that is received will be reduced in direct proportion to the victim’s share of the blame. If you were injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault and you were not wearing a seat belt, then the judge or jury hearing your case may determine that you are partially to blame for your injuries, which might have been less serious had you been wearing a seat belt. Your car accident lawyer in Reno can explain the rule in more detail and how it may apply in your case.
Contact the Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp Today
Accident victims have a short period of time in which to file a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada. Contact the Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp at (775) 324-1500 for a free initial consultation. We’ll review the details of your accident and help determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit against the responsible party.