Last week the Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether or not evidence of not using a seat belt should be admissible to mitigate damages. The case before the Supreme Court of Nabors Well Services, LTD v. Asuncion Romero, Et. Al. involves a collision between a tractor-trailer rig and a Chevrolet Suburban. The petitioners would like to introduce evidence that will show that some of the respondents were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident. The lower court did not allow such evidence to be introduced.
The suburban that was struck by the tractor-trailer rig had seven passengers. One passenger’s seatbelt broke during the accident and another who was a passenger in the rear seats did not have one as it was not required by the law at the time of the incident. The rear passenger not wearing a seatbelt died shortly after the collision.
The Supreme Court’s decision in this case is very important as precedent in the State of Texas has been that evidence regarding seatbelts is inadmissible. Many cases, including this one involve cases where had the person been wearing the seatbelt the outcome may not have been any different. There are many reports which have shown that in roll over crashes the use of a seatbelt does not prevent injury. Allowing testimony to be admitted regarding seatbelts without expert testimony will create an unnecessary burden on the jury.
Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 65 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.