Many states have laws that require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, and will serve as a deciding factor in your ability to recover for head and neck injuries if an accident occurs. New Jersey Public Law 39:3-76.7 applies to riders of all ages and states, “No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he wears a securely fitted protective helmet of a size proper for that person and of a type approved by the federal DOT.” This means that it could be a bit easier to determine liability due to the fact that a New Jersey motorcyclist riding without a helmet is acting in an unlawful manner. This makes it difficult to collect damages in the event that an accident occurs.
Wearing a Helmet Matters!
Laws set in place could be a deciding factor in your ability to recover damages, sure, but what is most important is the fact that a helmet can save your life in the event of a crash. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the incidence of head injuries if an accident unfortunately takes place. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 37% of every 100 motorcyclists killed in a crash while not wearing a helmet would have survived had they been wearing a helmet. The only states that actually carry no-helmet laws are Illinois and Iowa.
There are many types of accidents and situations that can take place. Check out the different combinations now and find out if you would be able to recover:
- Wore a helmet but didn’t sustain a head or neck injury: The helmet will be irrelevant to your injury claim in this case; however, you should mention that you were wearing a helmet. It could show your responsibility as a rider.
- Didn’t wear a helmet but didn’t sustain a head or neck injury: The fact that you didn’t wear a helmet is irrelevant on a legal level. This applies even if the law in your state requires you to wear a helmet.
- Wore a helmet and sustained a head or neck injury: In this situation, the helmet could be important to your claim because it will show that your injuries were not made worse by your own carelessness. It can also show that your injuries could have been worse and how dangerous the other driver’s actions were if you hadn’t worn a helmet.
- Didn’t wear a helmet and sustained a head or neck injury with no state helmet law: It could be difficult to recover for your injuries in this situation. You could be found comparatively negligent, which means you might be partially responsible. You may have to persuade an insurance adjuster that you would have sustained injuries even if you wore a helmet and depending if they listen or not, the compensation could be reduced.
- Didn’t wear a helmet and sustained a head or neck injury with state helmet law: This case will be extremely difficult on you as far as recovery is concerned. Your comparative negligence will be automatically established.
For a free legal consultation, call (201) 585-9111
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and you were not wearing a helmet, it could all depend on the state you live in when trying to recover damages. If your state had a helmet law, you may need the help of an experienced attorney to prove that the injuries sustained would have occurred even with a helmet on. You can speak to an attorney at MDL about your case and find out where you stand. Call today for a free consultation!