David S. Jasmer
Setting the Standard in Personal Injury
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Is the seat belt defense a concern for Illinois accident victims?

This is a great question for all Illinois residents who are considering a personal injury claim after suffering car accident injuries. Exploring all potential defenses can help you strengthen your case and prepare you in advance for any possible response on the part of the defendant.

Illinois is one of several states that does not recognize or permit the "seat belt defense" in car accident lawsuits. This means that the court will not take the victim's lack of a safety restraint into account when hearing the case. If your accident occurred in one of the states that does recognize the seat belt defense, it would hurt your chances of finding success.

If you are reading this and have never heard of this defense strategy, the following example of a successful seat belt defense may enlighten you. This may help if you ever become involved in a car accident in another state.

Say you are driving along and another car runs a stop light and collides with your vehicle. You suffer a serious head injury in the car accident resulting in thousands of dollars in medical bills. You decide to pursue a personal injury claim to help you recover the funds necessary to pay your bills.

The ensuing car accident investigation reveals one important fact—you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. The defendant's attorney makes this clear to the court, which in turn rules that you do not deserve full compensation for your injuries.

To sum up, car accident victims in Illinois stand a good chance of winning an injury claim even if they were not using a seat belt when the accident occurred. As always, good legal counsel can also improve your chances of success when pursuing a car accident claim.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is the 'Seat Belt Defense?'," accessed Oct. 11, 2017

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