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The Seat-Belt Defense | Auto Accident Lawyers Scholarship

The “Seat Belt Defense” in Automobile Accident Claims

2021 Spring Semester Scholarship Award

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

Background

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.’ 

Definitions

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. 

Prompt

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:

 $1,000

Submission Deadline:

January 15, 2021

 

Application Instructions

Email the following documents to CPW@WardLawFirm.com:

 

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

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