If there was a minor car accident and a passenger refused to wear their seatbelt and now claims injuries, is the non-at-fault driver responsible?

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If there was a minor car accident and a passenger refused to wear their seatbelt and now claims injuries, is the non-at-fault driver responsible?

Driver told passenger to wear the belt. Passenger laid down in back seat, instead. Passenger lied to officers at scene and said belt was on. If other insurancee company denies, is innocent driver responsible for ignorant passenger’s injuries?

Asked on April 17, 2013 under Accident Law, Nevada

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Here is where friendships will be lost. You need to inform your insurance company and the other insurance company of what actually happened. Your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company will undoubtedly ask for medical records of this passenger and depose him to determine his credibility and whether either company would have to pay him anything. If you are the innocent driver, keep in mind that as a driver you are responsible for those passengers in your vehicle. If a seatbelt is required in your state, then you should not be driving that passenger if any passenger refuses to wear a seatbelt. Ultimately, between the accident being minor, not caused by you and the possible perjury of the passenger, you should be fine.


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