For many years, Maine law has required anyone in a vehicle that is required to have seatbelts, to wear a setbelt. (29-A M.R. .A §2081)There are also more specific safety restraint rules for children.
A study done of crashes which occured in 1996 in Maine concluded that ” . . . unbelted occupants were 2.8 times more likely to be hospitalized or die with a head injury than those belted.” (As reported by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety). However, the statute specifically states that failing to use your seatbelt is not admissible evidence in any civil or criminal trial. Therefore, while it is clear that you should be belted when you are in a vehicle, the fact that you were not wearing your seatbelt during an accident is irrelevant. It cannot be used as eveidence, even if the other driver could prove you would not have been injured if you had your seatbelt on.
Some states do not have this rule. Therefore, some insurance adjusters may tell injured parties their claims are worth less because they didn’t buckle up. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident in while unbelted and has questions about the law, contact the team at Peter Thompson and Associates. We have handled thousands of similar claims and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. For a consultation call 1-800-917-1784 or read more on our website, www.Peter-Thompson-Associates.com, on our car accident practice page.