Seat Belt Gag Rule in Minnesota
The Minnesota “Seat Belt Gag Rule” currently provides that evidence of the use or failure to use seat belts and child car seats is not admissible in personal injury and property damage litigation arising out of car accidents. (See Minn. Stat. 169.685 Subd. 4.) The Minnesota Legislature House Civil Law Committee recently passed HF251, which would eliminate the seat belt gag rule. It was referred to the Public Safety Committee so this proposed legislative amendment remains pending.
If this amendment passes, then people who are injured in a car crash while not wearing a seatbelt can expect insurance carriers to use that evidence against them. Insurance companies understandably look for every argument they can make to reduce what they must pay to an injured person, so it is predictable they will try to put blame on an injured person for not wearing a seat belt if the law allows it.
If you or someone you know needs advice about a car accident injury, I can help. As an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney, I understand that legal problems don’t always happen during ordinary office hours.