Even if you were not wearing your seat belt when you were hit by a negligent driver, you may still be entitled to recovery for your injuries from an automobile accident.
The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that seat belt use in 2013 had increased to 87 percent. While you’re less likely to be seriously injured if you are wearing your seat belt, that does not mean you are completely barred from recovery if you were not wearing your seat belt. In Arkansas, the other side is not allowed to introduce evidence in court that you were not wearing your seat belt. See Ark. Code Ann. § 27-37-703(a); see also Grummer v. Cummings, 336 Ark. 447 (1999).
So what does this mean for you? Even if you weren’t wearing your seat belt at the time you were hit, you might still have a case against the other driver, who is not permitted to introduce evidence that you weren’t wearing your seat belt to reduce your damages.