Federal Law required automatic crash protection systems to be built in to all new cars as of July 17, 1984. Florida law supported the federal law requiring automatic crash protection by enacting Florida’s seat belt law.
Florida Law provides that it is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle unless the person is restrained by a safety belt. Furthermore, it is unlawful for any person 18 years of age or older to be a front seat passenger unless restrained by a seat belt.
Any person who violates this law commits a non-moving violation and is fined accordingly.
This law also has civil litigation provisions that can affect a recovery in a personal injury lawsuit for compensatory damages. If it is shown that a seat belt was not being used by an injured party at the time of the accident, the defense attorney can claim that the injury would not have occurred or would have been less serious if a belt had been used.
While the at fault driver may have been negligent for causing the accident and injuring you, it can be argued that you contributed also to your injuries and disabilities This will be argued during settlement discussions by the defense and make a settlement more difficult to achieve.
If the case has to be tried and the jury feels that you contributed to your injuries, the verdict will probably be less than what it might have been if you were wearing your seat belt.
The best advice I can give you is to ALWAYS use your seat belt. It is there to help protect you. It does reduce injuries and prevents death. If you are hurt in an accident, make sure the at fault driver and the insurance company compensates you for all of your damages. There is absolutely no reason not to use your seat belt.