As the adage goes – seat belts save lives. You know it’s important to wear seat belts for your own safety benefits. But what some people might not know is that wearing a seat belt can make a difference in their ability to get compensation if they ever get involved in a vehicle accident.
According to Nova Scotia laws, passengers and drivers in motor vehicles must wear seat belts at all times while the vehicle is in motion. It is in your best interest to buckle up every time you get behind the wheel.
Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act Section 175
Every passenger and the driver of a vehicle should wear a seat belt. If you sustain injury and are not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, the insurance company is likely to argue that you are partially responsible for the accident (contributory negligent). This will have a significant impact on your personal injury claim. In such a situation, the driver’s insurer may try to reduce your compensation by at least 25%. This is in accordance with Nova Scotia law under section 10 (1) of the Nova Scotia Insurance Act.
The law sets clear guidelines regarding a case where the injured drivers or passengers were not wearing a seat belt. Unless exempt by the law from the requirement in Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act, there shall be a reduction of at least 25% in damages for injuries or death arising indirectly or directly from the operation or use of an automobile in respect to an accident. That means the insurance company can legally cut your compensation amount by 25 percent if you were not wearing a seat belt.
Sure, there are specific exceptions to the seat belt requirements. But your best bet is always to wear your seat belt every time you drive or you board a vehicle. Suffering injuries in a traffic accident is hard enough, and the last thing you want is an insurance company attempting to deny or reduce your compensation amount.
Our team Wagners Law Firm can help with personal injury case.