On behalf of Restovich Braun & Associates posted in fatal motor vehicle accidents on Friday, September 30, 2016.

By now, most people know that seat belts can save lives. In fact, Minnesota lawmakers understood the importance of seat belts and passed laws into effect that make it mandatory for the driver and all passengers in the vehicle to wear a seat belt or be properly restrained in a safety seat.

In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for people who are 1 to 54 years old. Seat belts can help to prevent deaths, but many people opt not to wear them when they get in a vehicle.

Not wearing a seat belt is a primary offense in Minnesota. While the fine is only $25 for not buckling up, the cost of your life might be the price you pay if you are in an accident and not buckled up.

In 2014, there were 21,022 occupants of passenger vehicles killed in motor vehicle accidents. Over half of people who were killed in the 13 to 44 year age range were unrestrained at the time of the accident.

On top of the risk of death from being unrestrained during an accident, people who don’t wear a seat belt are also at risk of being injured. People who are 18 to 24 have the highest rate among adults of non-fatal injuries during motor vehicle crashes.

If you lost a loved one in an accident or if you were injured, you might opt to seek compensation. Before doing so, you might want to find out if and how seat belt usage might impact your claim.