California makes it unlawful for any rider or passenger to ride a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle without a helmet. Eighteen other states have laws that require federally-mandated helmets for riders, and 29 states have varying laws for riders and passengers.
Motorcycles can be dangerous, are less stable than passenger vehicles, and lack the same physical protection as an enclosed vehicle. Accident statistics prove that point. As of 2017, motorcycle deaths are 27 times as high as passenger vehicles.
Helmets help protect riders and passengers from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and some spinal cord injuries (SCI). Simply put, safety helmets help protect riders from head and neck injuries. Unfortunately, wearing a helmet does not protect riders or passengers from other serious injuries such as the back, arm, leg, and internal damage. Many riders wear protective gear such as leather pants, jackets, gloves, and boots to help lessen those injuries.
Does Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet Impact an Injury Claim? Yes, it does.
Ask the best car accident lawyer Los Angeles how many motorcycle accident victims have sought their help.
Pure Comparative Negligence
California has a pure comparative negligence law that states injured parties can collect compensation for their injuries for the percentage the other party was liable. In other words, if a driver hit you and was 75 percent at fault for your injuries, you can collect 75 percent of the amount awarded to you.
You may ask why another party maybe only 75 percent liable for your injuries if the driver is 100 percent at fault for the accident. It’s simple, if your injuries were in-part your fault, then why would someone else be responsible for 100 percent of your injuries? Call car accident attorney Los Angeles to inquire about your motorcycle injuries and how pure comparative negligence can affect your injury settlement.
Will Motorcycle Helmet Usage Affect My Claim?
Yes, using a helmet will positively affect your claim, and not using a helmet will negatively affect your claim. Insurance companies always look for ways to invalidate or minimize claim payouts. If they can get away with it, they will pay you little or nothing. They may accuse you of breaking the law, not wearing a helmet, or saying you were negligent. They may imply you were speeding, ignored road signs and the law, and that is why you are injured. The last thing they will do is admit their driver was at fault.
Let’s assume that a negligent driver wasn’t paying attention to the road and ran into you. Let’s also look at the following scenarios to clarify why you might be partially responsible for your injuries.
- You were not wearing a helmet and had neck and head injuries: California state law requires riders to wear approved safety helmets. The driver’s insurance company will likely say that your head and neck injuries wouldn’t exist if you wore an approved helmet. Yes, the driver hit you, and without that, you wouldn’t be injured, but you broke a safety law. Your actions contributed to the extent of your injuries.
- You were not wearing a helmet but had back and arm injuries: Yes, you can argue that your injuries could not be prevented even if you wore a helmet. But the insurance company will likely say you are irresponsible and negligent because you didn’t wear a helmet and broke the law. Yes, it will be an attack on your character. Still, sometimes it’s enough for juries to assign partial blame and award less compensation. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you win your case and a bigger settlement.
- You were wearing an approved helmet but suffered a head or neck injury: This should help your case because you acted responsibly and were still hurt. Although the insurance company will likely blame you for some part of the accident, your chance of winning the case is much better unless you were negligent. But you still may be partly at fault if the driver’s insurance company convinces a jury that you did something wrong.
Suppose you or someone you loved is injured in a motorcycle accident by a negligent driver. You would have the right to be compensated, even if you were not wearing a helmet. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer Los Angeles CA for help.
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