How Helmet Laws Affect Motorcycle and Bicycle Accident Claims

How Helmet Laws Affect Motorcycle and Bicycle Accident Claims

Know Your State’s Helmet Laws

It is important to know your state’s distinct helmet laws for several reasons. One such reason is that the laws surrounding your motorcycle helmet change the way accident claims work depending on the situation. The type of injury, motorcycle helmet usage, and motorcycle helmet laws are all something that will be considered during an accident claim.

Bicycle or Motorcycle Accident Scenarios Related to Helmet Laws

There are a few possible scenarios for how a motorcycle accident injury claim could be affected by local helmet laws.

If you had a helmet on at the time of the accident but did not suffer injuries to your head or neck, then the helmet is insignificant in terms of your claim. This means that even if your helmet was on, your chances to collect for your damages are unchanged. Stating that you had your helmet on during the accident will only help show that you take your safety seriously and that you are responsible.

If you had a helmet on and you still suffered from an injury to your neck or head, the helmet is the most important part of your claim. It shows that you were not the negligent party in the accident. That simply means that your injury was not made even worse by your carelessness, as well as showing how much worse the injury could have been if you did not have a helmet on. Showing how much worse the injury could have been goes a long way when you are trying to prove another driver’s lack of safety.

An accident in which you were not wearing a helmet and your injuries are not in the head or neck works similar to an accident if you were wearing a helmet. Because none of your injuries are in the places the helmet protected, it is insignificant in the scope of the case. This is the case even if your state has laws that require motorcyclists to wear helmets.

You will have a difficult time with any claim involving a head or neck injury if you were not wearing a helmet. That means even if there is no helmet law in your state, your battle to have your damages paid will be challenging. That is because helmets are known to be effective at reducing the risk for head trauma and neck injuries. Your failure to use a helmet shows negligence and apathy for your own personal safety.

Motorcycle Helmet Use vs. Bicycle Helmet Use

It is worth mentioning that a bicyclist under the same conditions as a motorcycle driver may have an easier time with their claims case than the motorcyclist.

While bicycle helmets are beneficial to wear, their effectiveness is not as obvious or well known as a motorcycle helmet’s effectiveness. Adults are not required to wear a bicycle helmet in any state for this reason.

A bicyclist who has sustained a head injury while not wearing a helmet has the easier side of the claim. It is up to the insurance company to prove that the injury sustained could have been prevented, or at least diminished if the bicyclist had been wearing a helmet. Even if an insurance company does seek to prove that, it does not end the claim. It only slightly weakens the bicyclist’s claim. It also has no effect on claims for injuries on other parts of the body.

A motorcyclist in the same position will have a much more difficult time with their claim. There have been an overwhelming amount of studies that have documented how effective motorcycle helmets are in reducing head and neck injuries. All of these studies are readily available to anyone attempting to counter your claim. It is then the claimant who has the burden of proof. They must be able to show that the injury would have happened with or without the helmet. From there, negotiations will revolve around how much of an injury would have been sustained with a helmet, which will greatly reduce the amount of compensation received.

The last possible scenario is a rider who did not wear a helmet who sustained a head or neck injury in a state that requires helmets. These claims are extremely difficult to gain compensation for the injury to the head or neck, although injuries at other parts of the body may still be collected. The fact that the motorcyclist was not following the law automatically establishes the motorcycle driver’s negligence. Like the situation in a state that did not require a helmet, the motorcyclist must prove that the injuries would have occurred even if they were wearing a helmet. The task would be very difficult and would almost certainly require a lawyer.

 

2018-06-22T16:40:03-05:00April 9th, 2017|Bike and Pedestrian Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents|