Crash Results in Fatal Injuries for Young Unrestrained Passenger
A recent Indian River County accident where a young passenger who was riding without a restraint at the time of a crash has resulted in fatal injuries for that passenger. The crash is an example of the critical importance of ensuring that all passengers wear restraints, with potential consequences when making a claim for damages for those who aren’t.
The fatal crash occurred on Thursday, November 9, 2017. During the early morning rush hour, a 2001 Saturn sedan was traveling south on U.S. 1 near the intersection with Highland Drive in Vero Beach. The driver, a 24-year-old woman, was carrying two children, a boy and girl each five years old. Neither the driver nor her two child passengers had been properly restrained. For reasons that are still being investigated, the Saturn driver swerved into a neighboring lane and hit a 1996 Ford F-150 left rear bumper with the front right portion of her car. the driver of the Saturn then lost control of her vehicle. The Saturn rolled several times, ejecting the young girl. The girl was declared dead at the scene of the accident. The driver of the Saturn, the second child, and the driver of the Ford were all taken to Indian River Medical Center by ambulance, and were all released later that afternoon.
Restraint use isn’t just important for front seat passengers; it’s critical for back seat passengers, as well. Studies have found that back-seat passengers not wearing seat belts at the time of a crash were eight times as likely to suffer serious injuries in that crash than those wearing restraints. Research also shows that failing to use a restraint isn’t just dangerous for the passengers themselves. Unrestrained passengers can become dangerous projectiles when a crash occurs, colliding with other vehicle occupants. Drivers are about two times as likely to die in a crash when their back-seat passenger isn’t restrained.
Not only can failure to wear a seat belt cause greater injury to passengers and others; it can also diminish the damages that injured victims collect from the drivers at fault for a crash. At-fault drivers in Florida can claim the so-called seat belt defense, which allows courts to find victims partially or totally responsible for their injuries if they’re hurt when not wearing a restraint. A skilled Florida car accident lawyer can help you contest this defense if evidence proves that the injuries still would’ve occurred even if the victim were wearing a seat belt.
For assistance after you or someone you love suffers major injuries in a Florida car accident, contact the knowledgeable and dedicated Vero Beach personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff for a consultation, at 772-492-8967.