Since motorcycles lack certain safety features such as seat belts, airbags, and steel frames, motorcycle accidents can be devastating for bikers. While wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the likelihood of suffering a traumatic head injury in an accident, many motorcyclists ride along Texas’ highways without one. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s negligent behavior, you could be entitled to damages for the losses you have suffered, even if you were not wearing a helmet. However, your decision not to wear one may impact the total value of your claim.
Following a motorcycle accident, it is essential to seek medical attention right away to address and treat your injuries. After you are treated, it is in your best interest to contact a trusted motorcycle accident attorney. Your attorney will conduct a complete investigation into your case to determine the total value of your claim and advocate for your rights on your behalf.
Under Texas law, all motorcyclists under 21 are legally required to wear a helmet while on their bike. However, bikers over the age of 21 are not required to do so in the following circumstances:
- The motorcyclist has proof of medical insurance
- The motorcyclist has proof they attended a motorcycle safety course
While wearing a helmet is not required by law for adults over 21, riding without one can increase your risk for severe injuries. One of the most common injuries motorcyclists face after an accident is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBIs are caused by the brain making contact with the skull wall and can result in permanent brain damage. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), bikers who choose to ride without a helmet are three times more likely to suffer a TBI.
In the Lone Star State, you must be less than 51% at fault for an accident to recover compensation. This is known as modified comparative negligence. The circumstances surrounding your case and the details from your medical records can determine if not wearing a helmet contributed to the injuries you suffered. In many cases, the court is much more likely to rule that not wearing a helmet contributed to the severity of your injuries if you suffered harm to your head, neck, or face. This does not mean you will be barred from collecting compensation for your injuries. However, the value of your claim may be less due to not wearing a helmet to protect yourself from injury.
For instance, suppose another driver failed to yield while turning left at an intersection and hit you. As a result, you suffered two broken legs and a broken hand. While you did not have a helmet on, wearing one would not have affected your injuries. Therefore, whether or not you were wearing a helmet would most likely not affect your case. In other words, the location of your injuries matters when pursuing a motorcycle claim if you were not wearing a helmet.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident without a helmet, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. At Sutliff & Stout, our compassionate lawyers take a personalized approach to every case to ensure that each client gets the best legal services for their unique needs. When you partner with us, your attorney will go over every detail of your case to ensure you are able to collect the maximum amount of compensation possible for your losses. To get started and schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, call us at (713) 987-7111 or fill out our contact form today.