Free Consultation: 317-639-9501 - Live Call Answering 24/7

The Seat-Belt Defense – Auto Accident Lawyers Scholarship – Indianapolis, IN

The “Seat Belt Defense” in Automobile Accident Claims

2021 Spring Semester Scholarship Award

Funded by the Auto Accident Lawyers of Ward & Ward Law Firm


*Note – The Seat Belt Defense Scholarship Award has been closed and submissions are no longer being accepted. Check back soon for new scholarship information.


Indiana is one of several states where the defendant of an automobile accident claim is prohibited by law from reducing or eliminating their liability by using the “Seat Belt Defense.” Evidence that the plaintiff driver and or passengers were not wearing a seatbelt restraint when the accident occurred is not allowed to be admitted into evidence. To date, both the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court have upheld the state’s legislation.

Indiana Legislation

Legal Theory

Causation is a required element for a legal claim of negligence. ‘But for the Defendant’s act of negligence, the Plaintiff would not have suffered harm.’ 


Plaintiff – The party injured in a car accident claim.

Defendant – The negligent party against whom compensation is sought.

Fault – An improper act or omission, injurious to another, transpiring through negligence, rashness, or ignorance.

Damages – Money paid by defendants to injured accident victim(s) in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries and other losses.

Mitigation of Damages – The injured plaintiff has a duty to take reasonable action, where possible, to minimize or avoid additional injury or loss. Failure to do so may reduce plaintiff’s compensation. 


Answer the following question in 750 words or less:

Do you believe the law should be changed to allow a defense attorney to use the Seat Belt Defense against the plaintiff(s) to lessen or eliminate the defendant’s liability in a car accident claim for negligence? Describe why you came to that conclusion and include a fictitious example of an accident scenario that supports your point of view.

Eligibility Criteria


Award Announcement: 

February 2021

Scholarship Amount:


Submission Deadline:

January 15, 2021


Application Instructions

Email the following documents to


This scholarship award is funded by the Indianapolis, IN auto accident lawyers of Ward & Ward Law Firm
located at 728 S. Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN  46225

Free Consultation


    Client Review

    “I would highly recommend Charlie Ward and his team. He directed my family through a couple of very difficult times. He never failed to answer the phone when I called. His staff is wonderful as well. They are knowledgeable, professional and kind.”
    Phyllis Bolton
    Client Review

    Car Accident Lawyer Indianapolis | Car Accident Attorney Indianapolis | Personal Injury Lawyer Indianapolis | Call Today - 317-639-9501