Can You Sue Your Ex for Not Making Your Kid Wear a Seatbelt?

In Florida, failing to wear a seatbelt is a primary offense. This means that the police can pull people over and give them tickets if they notice that they’re not wearing these safety restraints. But what happens if the police never notice that your child isn’t wearing a seatbelt? What if your ex fails to make them buckle up, later getting into a car accident? In this situation, you might want to hold your ex accountable. But can you sue them for not making your child wear a seatbelt?

Unrestrained Infant Dies in Florida Crash

On March 6th, it was reported that an unrestrained child had died in a Florida crash. The boy was just one year old, and he was ejected from his vehicle when the driver — a 20-year-old woman — lost control and crashed into a guardrail. The boy was ejected and killed with this initial impact, although the vehicle traveled back into the road and struck a second vehicle. The driver and another adult passenger suffered critical injuries. This shows how important it is for children to buckle up.

Wearing a Seatbelt is Mandatory in Florida

In Florida, wearing a seatbelt is mandatory. If you fail to do this, you can be pulled over and issued a ticket. Why is this important? Because this law implies that not wearing a seatbelt is a sign of negligence. The law goes even further when children are involved, specifying that children under the age of three must be restrained in a federally-approved child restraint system. Finally, Florida specifies that it is the responsibility of the driver to make sure child passengers are properly restrained at all times.

The Seatbelt Defense

If your child wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and you try to sue a negligent driver for causing a crash, they can use the “seatbelt defense.” This means that they can escape liability by showing that the injuries were caused mostly by the driver’s failure to restrain the child passenger — not their own actions.

Suing Your Ex for Not Making Your Child Wear a Seatbelt

If you can’t sue another negligent driver for not making your child wear a seatbelt, then a potential remaining option is to sue the driver for this negligence. This may take the form of a wrongful death lawsuit if the child loses their life.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in Fort Walton Beach?

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Walton Beach, look no further than The Browning Law Firm, P.A. We know that it can be crushing to hear that your child has suffered a serious injury. If you know that someone else is to blame, you are fully justified in suing on behalf of your child — whether the negligent party is your ex or some other negligent driver. The only way to know how to proceed in the best way possible is to get in touch with us today and book a consultation.


  1. https://www.wesh.com/article/unrestrained-baby-killed-florida-crash/43217096#
  2. https://www.stateofflorida.com/articles/seatbelts-save-lives/


Browning Law Firm, P.A.

418 Racetrack Rd NE, Ste B
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547


If you have further questions about this article or legal concerns, call 800-672-3103

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