It’s time for the next installment of Holcomb Dunbar law series “Insurance Law from A to Z.” This was put together by our litigation group who practice in the insurance law arena. Of course, if you have questions about these or any other topics please do not hesitate to contact us.
This week’s installment – Seat Belt Defense
Evidence that a plaintiff failed to use a seatbelt may not be used to prove contributory negligence. Miss. Code Ann. § 63-2-3.
However, there are other instances in which the non-usage may be relevant. For example, the defendant may properly introduce evidence as to whether the plaintiff was using a seatbelt at the time of the accident in order to establish facts concerning the causation, nature, and extent of injury. In these situations the judge will consider whether: the evidence of the non-usage has probative value other than proving negligence of the plaintiff; whether the prejudicial effect substantially outweighs the probative value; and whether other evidentiary rules permit the introduction of the evidence. Estate of Hunter v. General Motors Corp., 729 So. 2d 1264, 1269 (Miss. 1999).
The information contained in this post is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in information contained in this report. Accordingly, the information in this report is provided with the understanding that the authors are not herein engaged in rendering legal, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with legal or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult with your counsel or the attorneys at Holcomb Dunbar.