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Legally Speaking

Is your seatbelt buckled?

You probably remember being asked this question when you were a child waiting patiently in the backseat of a car for your next adventure to begin. For most of us, wearing our seat belts is automatic anytime we are in a moving vehicle. If it’s not, it should be.

Seat belts are crucial to protecting the safety of you, and other passengers in the event a crash occurs. So much so, the law has recognized for several years now, that a driver or passenger who is not responsible for a collision but suffers injury, will be held responsible to a certain degree for their own injuries.

New Brunswick’s Insurance Act automatically reduces compensation claims by 25% for people who are injured or die in a motor vehicle accident if they failed to properly wear a seat belt at the time of the collision. The only way to rebut the automatic deduction is by proving the failure to wear a seat belt did not contribute to the bodily injury or death – a feat that is rarely successful.

So, next time you gear up for your next adventure remember to ask yourself “is my seatbelt buckled?”

Reference: Insurance Act, RSNB 1973, c I-12.