2017 ORS 31.760¹
Evidence of nonuse of safety belt or harness to mitigate damages

(1) In an action brought to recover damages for personal injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident, evidence of the nonuse of a safety belt or harness may be admitted only to mitigate the injured party’s damages. The mitigation shall not exceed five percent of the amount to which the injured party would otherwise be entitled.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to:

(a) Actions brought under ORS 30.900 (“Product liability civil action” defined) to 30.920 (When seller or lessor of product liable); or

(b) Actions to recover damages for personal injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident when nonuse of a safety belt or harness is a substantial contributing cause of the accident itself. [Formerly 18.590]

(formerly 18.590)

Notes of Decisions

Where jury was accurately instructed on differences between alleged comparative fault of leaning forward and seat belt mitiga­tion factor, comparative fault de­fense that plaintiff was leaning forward in truck cabin at time of collision with defendant’s vehicle did not relate only to nonuse of his seat belt and was not precluded by pro­vi­sion of this sec­tion under which nonuse cannot be comparative fault de­fense. Anderson v. Loomis, 110 Or App 396, 822 P2d 752 (1991)

Where failure to wear seatbelt did not cause accident, express limita­tion of evidence excep­tion prevented introduc­tion of nonuse to prove cause of injury to rescuer. Rectenwald v. Snider, 134 Or App 250, 894 P2d 1242 (1995), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

26 WLR 551 (1990); 69 OLR 147 (1990)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 31—Tort Actions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors031.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 31, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano031.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.