Helmet Laws and Bicycle accidents

Criminal Law

Helmets are the most essential and effective form of protection a rider on a motorcycle can use. Helmets can save lives by reducing the severity of head injuries during a traffic accident. Helmets saved 1,872 lives in 2017 and cost $24.5 billion in economic- and comprehensive costs. Motorcycle riders and passengers are required to wear safety helmets approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). This is because of the dangers associated with riding a motorcycle.

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Mandatory Helmet Laws

Despite the fact that some motorcyclists are not supportive, 19 U.S. States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have passed statutes requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets that are DOT-approved. While some laws may require that a motorcycle rider or his or her passenger wear goggles, or face shields in certain cases, helmet-wearing laws are the most common.

Mandatory helmet laws that motorcycle riders and passengers must follow have been proven effective in increasing helmet use, reducing injuries to the head, and decreasing fatalities from motorcycle accidents. Helmet laws have not been without resistance from the motorcycling community, despite their positive impact on motorcycle riding safety.

Helmet laws have been challenged to their legality. This is the most vocal form of opposition. While some helmet statutes have been challenged on constitutional grounds in certain cases, the principle that motorcyclists must wear safety helmets for their passengers and themselves has always been recognized as constitutional.

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Not wearing a helmet

Motorcyclists may bring a personal injury case against other motorists. The opposing motorist might raise a concern about the motorcyclist’s negligence. Motorcyclists may lose their legal rights or have their recovery reduced due to their contributory negligence in causing an accident.

It is important to distinguish between negligence contributing the accident and negligence contributing the injuries. A motorcyclist’s act or omission to merely increase or decrease the severity of his injuries will not be grounds for a legal claim.

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A number of states have mandatory helmet laws. These laws are either void or only provide for criminal penalties. They also do not specify what the effect of a violation on the determination of negligence by a motorcyclist. In these jurisdictions and those without helmet laws, it is unclear what the motorcyclist’s inability to wear a helmet has on the determination of negligence.

In these states, failure to use a helmet could be considered negligence by a motorcyclist. It may also be relevant to the issue regarding injuries and damages if it seems that the helmet’s failure was a significant factor in the motorcyclist’s injuries.

Some states treat the failure to wear the helmet required by statute as negligence. This includes speeding at excessive rates or not using turn signals. If the motorcyclist is injured by the helmet’s failure, it can be considered a proximate reason. This may prevent or limit the victim’s recovery. If the motorcyclist is not injured by the helmet’s failure, however, it is not considered a proximate reason and the motorcyclist can recover.

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Talk to a lawyer to learn how helmet laws affect your motorcycle accident case

You should seek legal assistance if you were involved in a motorcycle accident, with or without your helmet. An experienced attorney will help you assess your damages and explain how helmet laws in your area could impact the recovery of any money that you are owed. Do not wait to get in touch today with a car accident lawyer near you.