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Buckle Up For Safety - And Stronger Legal Standing

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you're in a car accident that wasn't your fault but you weren't wearing a seatbelt, will it hurt your case?

When Tracy Morgan's lawyer filed a lawsuit against Walmart for the crash, Walmart defended itself by arguing that Mr. Morgan and the other passengers weren't wearing seatbelts.

Morgan's lawyer stated that Walmart's position was "surprising and appalling". Really Surprising? It's kind of car accidents 101.

One side says: you're at fault. The other side says: Nuh uh. And even if I'm kind of at fault, you are too. There.

Now you don't have to go to law school. You're welcome.

It's clear that Tracy Morgan and his driver weren't responsible for causing the accident. So Walmart can't - and isn't, for that matter - claiming that somehow Morgan caused the crash. But the other part of a lawsuit is figuring out how much money the party responsible for causing the accident has to pay the victim. And to do that, you look at how injured the victim was and whether or not he contributed to the harm that befell him.

So the party responsible will argue that had the passengers been wearing their seatbelts, they would have been less harmed.

It's no joke - failure to wear a seatbelt will compromise your legal claim and your safety. Buckle up.

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