Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Recovery for Injuries

How Negligence Can Affect the Size of Your Accident Settlement

Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Recovery for Injuries

A helmet can be the only thing standing in the way of a motorcycle crash victim and death. In a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37% of motorcycle fatalities could have been avoided had the rider worn a helmet. Despite this statistic, only 19 states and D.C. have laws requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet. California is one of these states, and if you are injured in a motorcycle crash and you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time, this can negatively impact your Newport Beach injury attorney’s claim for compensation.

An accident injury attorney in Newport Beach will explain that the size of your accident settlement is contingent on damages and liability. The higher your damages, the greater amount of financial compensation you need. However, the amount you get also depends on the liability of each party involved. In states with shared fault rules, you may still have a case for compensation, but your settlement will still be impacted by your decision not to wear a helmet.

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law

California courts follow the doctrine of pure comparative negligence when awarding victims of traffic accidents. Pure comparative negligence refers to determining relative liability of defendants and victims in personal injury cases. Using this doctrine, each party is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident, and the amount they pay is a direct reflection of their percentage of fault.

For example, a motorcycle injury claim might be worth $10,000. If the motorcycle rider was found to be 10% at fault for the accident, then they are liable for $1,000 worth of damages while the other party is 90% at fault and therefore liable for $9,000 worth of the damages resulting from the accident.

Due to these regulations surrounding the recovery of damages in accidents, the lawyer offering legal advice for motorcycle accidents will ask if you were wearing a helmet. While California has a helmet law, this will not completely nullify your case for compensation. See below to see how it can be affected.

If You Were Wearing a Helmet and Suffered a Head Or Neck Injury

If the collision injured either your head or neck despite the fact that you were wearing a helmet at the time, then the courts will almost definitely find that you should be compensated for your bodily injuries. By wearing protective headgear, you took steps to protect yourself in the event of an accident. If you sustain a head or neck injury despite this effort to protect yourself, then it can serve as a testament to how devasting your accident was. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney can present your helmet as evidence that you were not being negligent.

If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet and Suffered a Head Or Neck Injury in a State Without a Helmet Law

If you sustained a head or neck injury when you weren’t wearing a helmet, your personal injury attorney likely has a tough battle for compensation on their hands, even if the accident occurred in a state without laws surrounding helmets.

The defense attorney fighting you in your case will do anything to show that you were being negligent, and the fact you went without a helmet will be Exhibit One. The helmet could have protected you from your head and neck injuries, and they could even try to elaborate that your refusal to wear a helmet is an indicator that you don’t value safety, and therefore, didn’t drive safely, either.

Even if your state does not have a helmet law, your insurance agency is still likely to raise your insurance rates due to this act of negligence.

If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet and Sustained a Head Or Neck Injury in a State With a Helmet Law

If your accident occurs in a state like California that has a helmet law and you injure your head or neck, recovering compensation for your injuries will be an uphill battle. The fact that you broke your state’s helmet law serves to show your comparative negligence.

However, Accident Lawyers Firm has an extensive list of consultants with knowledge in motorcycle accident injuries, and they can examine the evidence from the scene to see how much your helmet could have really protected you. It’s possible that your injuries could have happened regardless.

Even if you weren’t wearing a helmet in a state with a helmet law, you can still be entitled to compensation under pure comparative negligence. You were involved in an accident nonetheless, and that means that someone else is likely at least partially responsible.

Helmets and Other Protective Gear

There are four central components of the motorcycle helmet that haven’t changed for decades. They are the hard outer shell, impact-absorbing liner, padded comfort layer, and chin strap to keep the helmet on your head.

The Motorcycle Legal Foundation has a beginner’s guide for choosing a helmet that will protect you. They list the anatomy of a protective helmet and how to get one that fits your head correctly.

You can find a helmet with lighter materials to minimize strain on your neck muscles, Bluetooth features to minimize distracted driving, and extra padding for comfort.

You can also buy other protective gear such as heavy-duty leather gloves to protect your hands. They also make jackets that can sustain a considerable amount of friction and reflect headlights to increase visibility. You can also buy motorcycle-friendly pants to help protect your body from roadburn in the event of a crash.

About Accident Lawyers Firm 

If you were injured in a car accident or motorcycle accident, seek out a personal injury attorney from Accident Lawyers Firm. We have a track record of winning thousands, if not millions, of dollars for our clients. This money can be used to pay for your medical bills, emotional damages, property damages, and overall pain and suffering caused by the negligent party.

We have an extensive network of accident and health experts that can provide additional information needed to build a strong case for compensation. To set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at 949-203-5780 or email us at intake@accidentlawyersfirm.com.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Family

If you have done everything right and you find yourself seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash, then you should hire a motorcycle accident attorney Newport Beach and build a case. You will likely sustain serious injuries if you are hit by a motor vehicle. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get the money you need to pay your medical bills and make up for lost wages.

The main objective of a personal injury lawyer will be to get you the maximum amount of money possible. Your lawyer will do all they can to prevent your case from going to trial, which can be long, exhausting, and expensive. They will instead carry out a thorough investigation of the events that led to the accident. They will then use this evidence to pressure the respondent into offering a fair and reasonable settlement.

High-quality legal help for motorcycle crashes is only a phone call away.

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