Injured in a Motor Vehicle Collision But not Wearing your Seat belt?
If you or a loved one are injured while riding in a car without a seat belt in Ontario, you are still eligible for accident benefits (no fault benefits) and for compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Statutory Accident Benefits Are not Impacted by a SeatBelt Defence
There is NO REDUCTION in accident benefits for failure to wear a seat belt. You (or your family) are still eligible for death and funeral benefits, medical rehab benefits, income replacement benefits, attendant care and any optional benefits you purchased. Whether or not you wore your seat belt has NO BEARING on your accident benefits.
Claims Against the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance may be REDUCED but not ELIMINATED by a Seat Belt Defence
If you or a loved one is injured or dies in a motor vehicle collision where the seat belt was not worn, there MAY be a reduction in the amount of compensation. The amount of the reduction, if any, will be between 5-25% of the total amount awarded. For example, if the injured person’s compensation has a value of $100,000, the injured person may only receive $75,000 to $95,000. The Court in Ontario has stated that in most cases and reduction for failing to wear a seatbelt will be closer to 5% than 25%.
The defendant at-fault driver’s insurance company has to prove that the failure to wear a seatbelt actually caused or contributed to the injuries. The reduction is not automatic, even if the injured person admits he or she did not wear the seatbelt.
Most Claims are Still Worthwhile if No Seat Belt was Worn
If you believe you or your family have a claim after a motor vehicle collision, please call our office at 613-233-4529 or email us at [email protected] One of our experienced personal injury lawyers will walk you through the process to compensation.