What Is the ‘Seat Belt Defense?’

California Auto Accident Law And The Seat Belt DefenseUnder California Law, both drivers and passengers are required to wear a seatbelt. The state enacted this law based on the belief that mandatory seatbelt use will reduce injuries and death for both drivers and passengers. This belief is supported by data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which statesseat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.”

What Is The Seat Belt Defense?

The “seat belt defense” is a defense employed by attorneys for at-fault drivers to place some blame for injuries on the injury victim. This defense is used in cases where the injured person either wasn’t wearing his or her seat belt, or there is some question as to whether he or she was wearing a seat belt. The defense attorney will argue that the injured person would be less injured if he or she had been wearing a seat belt.

The goal of the insurance company is to reduce the amount paid to accident victim for his or her injuries. Fewer injuries typically means lower medical bills, smaller wage loss due to missed work, a speedier recovery, less pain and suffering, etc; Using the seat belt defense is a tactic used by the insurance company to reduce payouts to personal injury victims.

How The Seat Belt Defense Is Applied

When someone is injured in a car crash, they are frequently able to collect compensation for their injuries. This compensation can include the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Typically, these costs are paid by the defendant’s insurance company.

However, failure to wear a seat belt violates the California Vehicle Code. Consequently, this violation rises to the same level as violating California laws against speeding, running red lights, or failing to use turn signals. Any one of these violations can be considered as “contributing” to the accident or severity of injuries sustained in the accident. Committing one of these violations, including, failure to wear a seatbelt while operating or riding in a vehicle, can reduce the amount of compensation an injured plaintiff can receive.

How To Deal With The Insurance Company After A Car Accident

The car accident lawyers of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP have been helping auto accident victims and their families for nearly 30 years. During that time, we have represented thousands of injured drivers and passengers. We have extensive experience dealing with the auto insurance company to ensure that our clients receive maximum compensation.

Before you speak with an insurance representative, call us at 1-800-718-4658 for a free, no-pressure consultation to learn more about your right to compensation for your injuries.

Do I Have A Case?

We offer free consultation. No office visit required, we will get back to you within 24 hours.

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


What can we do for you?

  • Answer your legal question.
  • Provide a Free Case Evaluation.
  • Schedule an appointment.


Choose Us?

  • Available 24/7
  • Trusted Since 1990
  • Local to You
  • Recovered $350,000,000
  • 5 Star Reviews
  • Free Case Evaluation
  • VIP Service
  • No Win, No Fee

Latest Law Post

August 20, 2019

PG&E Says It Knew Its Lines Could Spark Fires

PG&E Corp acknowledged in July 2019 that it has known for many years that its power lines could fail, sparking wildfires in the process. The acknowledgment came in a federal court filing which had been mandated by U.S. district judge William Alsup, who had ordered PG&E to respond to a Wall Street Journal article on a “paragraph-by-paragraph basis.”

August 6, 2019

What Foods And Drinks Contain Glyphosate?

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular herbicide Roundup, has been linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in humans. People who are diagnosed with Non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a very deadly form of cancer, have already won several lawsuits against Bayer, the manufacturer of Roundup.  A $2 billion verdict was awarded in one of the lawsuits.


We are Personal Injury Lawyers representing accident victims throughout California.
For 30 years, the law firm of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP has helped injury victims
obtain the compensation they deserve.