By Lee Mickus, a Partner in the Denver, CO office of Evans Fears & Schuttert LLP.
Laws in three-quarters of U.S. states and the District of Columbia prohibit or severely restrict defendants in motor-vehicle accident jury trials from introducing evidence that injured drivers or passengers had not buckled their seatbelt. For more than three decades, these gag rules have unfairly rewarded unbelted plaintiffs by allowing them to avoid the legal consequences of not buckling up.
The Louisiana legislature’s recent repeal of the state’s evidentiary gag rule creates a timely context within which Evans Fears & Schuttert LLP attorney Lee Mickus examines the history of these laws and makes the case for their elimination.
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