Colorado law has two basic requirements as to seat belts. Front seat passengers must wear their seat belts. Back seat passengers are not required to wear seat belts, but the driver is responsible to have any children in the front or back of the car restrained by a seat belt and to use a car seat or booster seat for them as appropriate.
Failure to wear seat belts when required is not considered negligence in Colorado, but it is a defense to claims for non-economic damages, which includes compensation for things like pain, suffering, anguish, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life. It is also a good reason to consult with a Denver car accident lawyer before accepting any compensation from an insurance company. Therefore, a jury may consider whether it believes that the injuries and so the non-economic consequences could have been reduced or avoided had the victim worn a seat belt if they were required to do so. Economic damages, which include past and future medical bills and past and future loss of earnings, are not reduced in Colorado due to any failure to wear a seat belt.
Colorado law does not require that the party asserting a seat belt defense prove that the seat belt probably would have made a difference. If you did wear a seat belt at the time of your auto accident, we may be able to establish through expert testimony or otherwise that wearing a seat belt would have made little or no difference. The primary function of a seat belt is to keep the passengers inside the car in the event of an accident, and many people suffer injuries even when they wear seat belts in accidents. In fact, seat belts may serve to cause or worsen certain types of injuries.
There are so many things that we have control over when it comes to keeping ourselves and our families safe while in an accident. Don’t text and drive, pay attention to those around you, and please wear your seat belt. It could save your life.