If I was a passenger in a car that got into a car crash, will I have to pay my hospital bill since I was not wearing a seatbelt?

It was the other car’s fault.

Asked on August 12, 2013 under Personal Injury, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, you'll have to pay your own bill (except for any portion picked up by health insurance), though you could try to submit a claim to the other car's insurance, or sue the driver if he/she or his/her insurance will not voluntarily pay you; but any claim or lawsuit is a way to be reimbursed later for your medical costs--you are still responsible for paying them in the first place.

2) If you were not wearing a seatbelt, you may find it difficult to recover the full amount of your costs (and/or money for pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.), since not wearing a seatbelt is negligent, or unreasonably careless; if not wearing the belt contributed to your injuries, you will most likely not be able to recover money to the extent you could have avoided injuries had you been wearing a belt. (An injured person's own negligence reduces what they could receive.)

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