Will Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim?

Will Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim?

The aftermath of motorcycle accidents can be complex, especially if the operator wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. This poses problems for filing a claim and receiving compensation for motorcycle accident-related expenses, such as head injuries as a result of not wearing a helmet.

If you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle accident, our personal injury lawyers in Arizona and Utah will help you navigate the legal challenges and build a strong case to get the compensation you deserve.

Data and Statistics on Wearing a Helmet

Motorcycle accident injuries and deaths are highly preventable. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists don’t wear helmets that meet national safety standards—or don’t wear helmets at all—increasing the risk of severe and even fatal injuries. A motorcycle operator with no helmet is more likely to sustain a head injury.

According to the CDC, helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 69%. They’re estimated to prevent fatal injuries by 37% for motorcycle operators and 41% for motorcycle passengers. Motorcycle helmets saved more than 25,000 lives between 2002 and 2017 alone.

It Doesn’t Change Who Is at Fault

The absence of a motorcycle helmet at the time of an accident doesn’t change who’s liable for the damages. If the other motorist was clearly responsible for causing the accident, you can still seek compensation even if you weren’t wearing a helmet. However, your compensation may be reduced depending on other factors involved.

How Wearing a Helmet Affects the Compensation for Injuries

The opposing party will argue that the absence of a helmet caused or at least contributed to your injuries, particularly those affecting the head and neck. If you had been wearing a helmet, you wouldn’t have sustained any injuries, or the injuries you did sustain would have been less severe. If the opposing party presents a compelling case, your compensation could be reduced.

Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at Esquire Law to discuss the compensation you can expect to receive. While we can’t predict the outcome of your case, we can give you a rough estimate of possible compensation.

Top Ways Negligence Impacts Insurance Compensation in an Accident

Negligence is the crux of every motorcycle accident claim. Whoever acted negligently will pay for the damages caused. This could be one person, or it could be multiple people. It all depends on the case at hand and the evidence available.

If you’re partially responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This principle is known as comparative negligence, which allows a partially at-fault plaintiff to still seek compensation from a partially at-fault defendant.

As a modified comparative negligence state, Utah allows plaintiffs to be up to 50% at fault for an accident. If a plaintiff is 51% or more at fault, they cannot seek compensation.

Arizona, on the other hand, is a pure comparative negligence state. Plaintiffs can be up to 99% at fault and still receive compensation. If the plaintiff is 100% liable for the accident, they will receive no compensation for any injuries or property damage caused.

How Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet May Affect the Severity of Your Head Injuries

Getting in a motorcycle crash without a helmet significantly increases your chances of sustaining a severe injury, which was proven by a 2016 study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Here are some of the findings:

  • Unhelmeted riders are more likely to have head injuries and are 3–4 times more likely to die.
  • Unhelmeted riders sustain more severe injuries, suffer greater disability, require longer hospital stays, and incur higher hospital charges.
  • Unhelmeted riders are 6 times more likely to sustain a skull fracture.
  • The incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which includes the spectrum from concussion to intracranial hemorrhage, was significantly higher among unhelmeted riders.
  • Unhelmeted riders had significantly higher odds of TBI, skull fracture, or any head injury, compared to helmeted riders.

The most effective way to reduce these risks is to wear a motorcycle helmet that meets national safety standards.

Common Injuries from Not Wearing a Helmet

Here’s a list of common injuries sustained by motorcycle accident victims:

  • Road rash
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Foot and leg injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Hand and arm injuries
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Burns
  • Muscle injuries

How Does Helmet Usage Affect My Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim?

Every motorcycle claim hinges on the concept of negligence. The party found to be negligent or at fault for the crash is responsible, or liable, for covering the damages. Insurance companies will look for various factors to help determine liability. Here are some questions they might ask:

  1. Was speed a factor in the accident?
  2. Did a driver make a turn without looking for oncoming traffic?
  3. Was a driver driving distracted?
  4. Were drugs or alcohol involved in the accident?
  5. Were any citations issued at the scene?
  6. Were you wearing a helmet?

Wear a helmet every time you ride a motorcycle, and make sure it meets national safety standards for protection.

What if You Don’t Have a Head Injury?

If you get in a motorcycle accident without a helmet and don’t sustain any head injuries, your liability and compensation shouldn’t be affected. Even if you had been wearing a helmet, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Unfortunately, insurance companies will still try to place the blame on you and cheat you out of rightful compensation if you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The good news is that with sufficient medical records and other evidence, insurance companies can’t tie your injuries to helmet use. Medical records show the absence of a head injury and prove any other injuries you sustained weren’t caused by not wearing a helmet.

Reliable Litigation Services With Esquire Law Firm

It doesn’t matter whether you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident; if you were involved in an accident someone else caused, you deserve compensation for your injuries and property damage.

Contact our motorcycle accident lawyers today to get started with a free case evaluation. We’ll make sure you understand your rights and have the best chance of having a successful claim.

About the Author

Alan Beal

esquire law attorney Alan Beal

Alan Beal is a trial attorney who has dedicated his professional career to helping real people navigate the complexities of the insurance and legal system. Before joining Esquire Law, Alan represented insurance corporations in a variety of legal matters, ranging from personal injury to product liability disputes. His experience as an insurance defense attorney provides ... Alan Beal

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