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Tracy Morgan crash raises issue of seat belt use in personal injury cases, P.3

In our last post, we continued our discussion about the potential impact
of failure to wear a seat belt in personal injury litigation. The discussion
was prompted by a recent government report highlighting the fact that
Tracy Morgan and other passengers involved in New Jersey
car accident last year were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash.

As we’ve noted, failure to wear a seat belt cannot be used as evidence
of contributory negligence, but it can be admitted for demonstrating failure
to mitigate damages. If it is determined that the plaintiff did fail to
mitigate damages, his or her recovery may not be reduced by more than
one percent of the damages awarded after figuring in any reductions due
to comparative negligence.

Mitigation of damages, then, can only account for a rather small reduction
in overall damages. Still, every little bit counts when it comes to maximizing
damages. It bears repeating, though, that it isn’t always going
to be easy for a defendant to successfully argue for failure to mitigate
damages based on not wearing a seat belt. It really depends on the circumstances
of the case.

Because a plaintiff’s contributory negligence can result in a significant
reduction in damages, it is critical for plaintiffs facing this possibility
to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Building a strong
case can help a plaintiff to make a strong case for liability and maximize
his or her damages award by reducing the possibility of reductions in damages.

Medical Malpractice

Update on woman whose kidney was thrown away by nurse

Regular readers of our Joplin law blog will undoubtedly recall an article we published a little more than a year ago, telling the story of a woman whose donated kidney was thrown away. Her brother had donated the organ to help his then-24-year-old sister, but before it could be transplanted, a nurse at the hospital threw it away. Back when we published the story in August of 2013, the hospital

Car Accidents

If you get into an accident, try to remember some of these tips

For those who have already been in a car accident, you know just how chaotic and bizarre the moment that follow the wreck can be. For those who haven\’t been in an accident, heed some of the lessons in this blog post so that you will be better prepared in case you are involved in a wreck. Though if the knowledge never gets used because you don\’t get into a

Truck Accidents

Trucker cited for crash one day, causes another on I-75 the next

On June 24, the driver of a semi-truck apparently sideswiped another truck as he was trying to pass. No one was hurt, but he was cited for careless driving. The next day, the same trucker was headed down a stretch of I-75 in Tennessee. Traffic had stopped due to construction, but the trucker didn\’t notice in time. His truck slammed into eight vehicles, causing six people to be injured and

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