9 months ago
Last edited at 6:25AM on 3/9/2013
People can sue for pretty much any reason these days. If you were driving and got into an accident, which caused the passenger to sustain injuries, then yes they can sue you. If you can prove that she wasn't wearing her seatbelt, it may have some impact on her claim, but that typically doesn't completely absolve whoever was at fault for causing the accident.
Keep in mind though that if she wasn't wearing her seatbelt - your insurance company can legitimately use that as a reason not to pay on a claim. Which if you are still found liable for the suit, you'd still owe the money - so that's something to consider as well, before bringing up the issue as a defense.
It's probably worth noting as well, that the driver is responsible for everyone in their car, while they are driving - even if that person is an adult. If someone won't put their seatbelt on, the driver gets the ticket if they get pulled over.
The driver is not responsible for a 32 year old passenger who is not wearing a seat belt provided they are there. This means that she cannot sue the driver if he was not recklessly driving or if not under alcohol influence. Read http://www.dmvflorida.org/seat-belt-laws.shtml.
I dot know the law situation in FL, but here its like Peter says: the driver is responsible for the safety of the passengers and their compliance to traffic laws. If a passenger refuses to wear the seat belt the driver has to tell the person to leave the car - or not drive.