Wearing a seat belt reduces your risk of injury or death in a crash by half. You’re much safer in a car when you buckle up.
California requires the use of seat belts, but did you know that there are some exceptions? In certain situations, you’re not breaking the law by not wearing a seat belt.
Injured Uber and Lyft passengers often wonder if their failure to wear a seat belt means they won’t be able to get compensation. So let’s take a closer look at these issues regarding ridesharing and seat belts.
Rideshare Passengers, Know the Law About Seat Belts
Although it’s a good idea to buckle up for safety in case of an Uber or Lyft accident, California law doesn’t require it. Passengers are exempt from wearing seat belts when they are in “vehicles for hire” like taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts.
Uber and Lyft don’t require their passengers to wear seat belts, although they do strongly recommend it. Technically, an Uber driver can reject a group of passengers if there are not enough seat belts in the vehicle for everyone.
For rideshare passengers, it comes down to personal choice. A whopping 4 out of 5 back seat passengers opt not to wear seat belts, with the most common reason being that the back seat is safer than the front seat. But actually, that’s not true.
Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have found that the back seats are just as dangerous as the rest of a car in a crash. And being unbuckled in the back seat is eight times as hazardous as being buckled, according to the NHTSA.
A Seat Belt Protects You in More Ways Than One!
If you’re injured in an Uber or Lyft crash and make a compensation claim, the insurance company might use statistics like the ones we shared above to put the fault on you. They may try to say that if you’d worn your safety belt, you could have avoided the injury.
But remember, as a rideshare passenger, you don’t have to wear your seat belt under California law. You weren’t doing anything wrong!
While it might be true that a seat belt could have limited your injuries, don’t be intimidated by the insurance company’s tactics. They’re just trying to avoid paying the claim. Your failure to wear a seat belt does not automatically mean you can’t demand compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
Of course, you’re going to need an experienced California Uber lawyer to show the insurance company you’re not backing down. Sally Morin Law will make it crystal clear that you know your rights when it comes to seat belts while ridesharing.
***Found Sally through all the positive reviews and I am glad I did!!!*** Her and her team made everything really easy and they are great at staying in contact with you. I was really busy with work at the time and wasn’t able to meet them in person till almost the end of my case and they were completely supportive of that. Worked over the phone, through emails, and were in constant contact with updates and to just see how I was doing with my recovery, for nearly 2 straight years!! Sally really fought for me with the insurance (both mine and the other guys) and was extremely fair when it came to my settlement. – Ken
Experience a serious Uber or Lyft car accident in California?
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After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including rideshare accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
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