According to recent reports, a 15-year-old girl from Henderson was killed in a car crash near Ely. Nevada Highway Patrol sources say that the victim was a passenger in a car driven by Angela Brooks, 18. Brooks apparently crossed the center line, running off the left side of the road. In an effort to adjust, she lost control, which caused the car to veer and overturn. The victim was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was wearing a seat belt and only suffered minor injuries.
Seat Belt Use and the Risk of Injury
According to statistics, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for those aged 1-54 in the U.S. Another 2.2 million vehicle occupants are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries received in a vehicle accident. Despite the high risk of injury and even death, many vehicle occupants do not wear seat belts.
Seat belts have been shown to reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by 50 percent when these restraints are used properly. While air bags are great added protection, statistics show that they fail to protect as well as seat belts. This is because seat belts keep victims from being ejected from the vehicle, which causes them to run a greater risk of being injured.
Statistics from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that only 55 percent of teens aged 13-20 years that were killed in vehicle crashes in 2012 were wearing a seat belt. Younger adults and teens have the highest rates of failing to use their seat belts, which increases their risk of being injured or killed if they are involved in a crash.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim If I Was Not Wearing a Seat Belt?
Nevada law requires those riding in both the front and rear of a vehicle to wear seat belts. This law is designed to protect vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. If you break the law and do not wear a seat belt, you are likely to be more severely injured when involved in a crash.
When a crash occurs, it is likely that one party is more at fault than the other. If you were injured in a crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence, the law allows you to seek compensation from that person. However, if you were not wearing your seat belt, the insurance company may attempt to deny your claim or offer you a small settlement.
In order to protect your rights, the skilled attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas work hard to protect you and to maximize the amount you receive for your claim. We have helped countless victims of vehicle accidents seek and receive compensation for their injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.