Most motorcyclists love the thrill of riding down the road. Without the limits of a metal frame, motorcyclists tend to feel freer. This feeling of feeling free comes at a cost, as motorcyclists tend to be 35 times more likely to get into a deadly accident than vehicle drivers. As a result, most states require motorcyclists to wear helmets when on the road. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets can reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37%. Additionally, not wearing a helmet can significantly impact your right to a motorcycle accident claim.
Determining Your State's Helmet Laws
As of 2014, all 50 states in the U.S. have different laws regarding whether a helmet needs to be worn. As of right now, only 19 states and the District of Columbia require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet when on the road. 28 states require only some motorcyclists to wear a helmet when on the road, and 3 states (Illinois, New Hampshire and Iowa) do not have any set helmet laws for motorcyclists established yet. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine what your current situation is with the law.
Recovering Compensation For Your Injuries
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, recovering compensation for any injuries that you have sustained will be considerably more difficult if you live in a state that requires for you to wear a helmet. The prosecutor or the other party will argue that you exhibited negligence by not wearing the helmet, and as a result, are responsible for the injuries that you have sustained. Insurance adjusters will normally produce an overwhelming amount of documentation and research papers that show that the injuries could be avoided if you wore a helmet.
Most of the time, you will be found to be comparative negligent for the accident. This means that you too have a responsibility for the injuries that you have sustained, and the amount of compensation that you will be awarded by the court will decrease drastically. Generally speaking, if your state has a helmet law, your chances of recovering any compensation will be minimal. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can help increase your chances. Your motorcycle accident lawyer and you are responsible for proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you would have sustained the injuries regardless of whether you wore a helmet or not. You will need to have evidence in the form of:
- Medical documentations reporting all of the treatments that you have gone through to recover from your injuries.
- Expert opinion that can prove that you would have sustained the same injuries regardless of whether you wore a helmet or not. Finding an expert in this field can be rather difficult.
- Witness testimony that can prove that you were not responsible for the accident.
If your state does not have a helmet law, then you will need to prove that your injuries are a result of the accident, and that you would have sustained the same injuries even if you did not wear a helmet. Even if your state does not have a helmet law, as a motorcyclist, you are responsible for reducing your liability on the road.
If you got into a vehicular accident while riding a motorcycle without a helmet, you will want to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately before filing your claims, as your case will be a lot more complicated. You will need to begin gathering evidence that can prove that you would have sustained similar injuries even if you wore a helmet, and can prove that you are not liable for the accident happening.
Check out sites like http://www.lvaccident.com for more information and help finding a lawyer.