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Pete Mackey
Pete Mackey
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Automobile Collisions: Should Evidence Of Seatbelt Use Be Allowed At Trial?

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According to the Daily Report, the Georgia Senate is considering a bill that would allow jurors to hear evidence at trial of whether or not a claimant was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The Chamber of Commerce supports the bill and many trial attorneys oppose it. What do you think? As for whether seat belts save lives, prevent injuries or reduce their severity – the debate is over.

I should be able to introduce evidence that a driver’s cell phone use or intoxication, for example, caused the collision. If the law requires drivers to be belted, why shouldn’t the other driver be able to try and prove that my client would not have been injured if belted? It would be awfully unfair, on the other hand, for a drunk driver to escape liability because my client was not wearing a seat belt. What about situations where there is no clear expert proof, one way or the other, that the claimant would have escaped injury if belted in? Would it unnecessarily complicate otherwise straightforward cases? Would this mean that experts would be required in every case where the claimant is not belted? Let me hear from you.