Seat Belts Save Lives: Cautionary Tales From Louisiana
None of the high-tech safety features in your car have done as much to prevent fatalities and reduce the seriousness of injuries sustained in car accidents as the humble seat belt. If you ride in a car without wearing a seat belt, you are increasing the risk that you will be seriously injured, but your failure to wear a seat belt does not absolve the driver who caused your accident of all legal responsibility for causing your injuries. In fact, it might not even reduce the amount of damages awarded to you. If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, whether or not you were wearing a seat belt, a Louisiana car accident injury lawyer can help you recover damages.
Louisiana Car Accidents Made Worse by Lack of Seat Belt Use
These are some accidents in Louisiana that made news headlines in the past few months and in which at least one person involved in the accident was not wearing a seat belt.
- In April 2020, Ashley White, 36, of Gramercy was driving on U.S. 61 in St. John the Baptist Parish, when she was struck by a 2018 Kenworth tractor-trailer that was turning right onto the road. White suffered fatal injuries in the collision. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, including whether White was wearing a seat belt. State troopers reported that they do not suspect that either of the drivers in the accident was impaired.
- In September 2019, Heulette “Clo” Fontenot, 58, a former Louisiana state senator from Denham Springs, sustained fatal injuries when he failed to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left turn. A Lexus struck the passenger’s side of Fontenot’s car; Fontenot was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
- On May 7, 2020, Cade Frey, 26, was driving west in the eastbound lane of LA 1 in Pointe Coupee Parish, when he collided head on with the car of Kyle Ramagos, 20. Neither Ramagos nor Frey was wearing a seat belt, and Ramagos may have been impaired. Ramagos died from injuries sustained in the accident, and Frey sustained moderate injuries.
No media reports have mentioned civil lawsuits being filed in connection to these accidents, but the victims’ families have the right to file wrongful death lawsuits against the drivers responsible for causing the accidents. In non-fatal accidents, injured people can file personal injury lawsuits, in which they may receive a settlement or judgment that covers past and future medical treatment, past and future lost income, and pain and suffering.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Car Accident Cases
Even if you were not wearing a seat belt at the time of your car accident, it was still the other driver’s responsibility not to hit you. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.