It is no secret that motorcycles are dangerous. According to research, the Department of Transportation reported that there were 81,000 recorded injuries sustained from motorcycles in 2011. And not surprisingly, the severity of the injury increases as the riders driving speed increases. Even more, riders who were not wearing a helmet sustained the most serious injuries, including death.
In Nevada, the law states that each rider on a motorcycle must be wearing a helmet. In a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “for every 100 motorcyclists killed in a crash while not wearing a helmet, 37 would have survived if they had been wearing a helmet.” With these kind of numbers, it only makes sense to wear a helmet.
Because of Nevada’s strict policy on motorcycle helmets, if you are injured while not wearing a helmet, you may have a difficult time in court. Here are some scenarios involving motorcycle accidents and how injury lawsuits may be affected:
Scenario 1 – Wearing helmet & no head or neck injuries: If you were in a motorcycle accident while wearing a helmet and did not sustain any head or neck injuries, your helmet will likely not be a factor in litigation. However, it is best to state if you were wearing a helmet.
Scenario 2 – No helmet & no head or neck injuries: If you were not wearing a helmet, and did not sustain and head or neck injuries, the lack of wearing a helmet will not be relevant (even if your state has strict helmet laws).
Scenario 3 – Wearing helmet & sustained head and/or neck injuries: If you sustained a head or neck injury while wearing a helmet, you will likely have a successful lawsuit. By wearing the helmet, you demonstrate that you took the necessary precautions to avoid injuries, which puts the legal burden on the other driver involved in the accident.
Scenario 4 – No helmet & sustained head and/or neck injuries: Even if your state does not have strict laws surrounding motorcycle helmets, you may have a difficult time receiving compensation for your injuries. If a medical expert declares that the severity of your injuries increased because of your not wearing a helmet, the court may rule that you were “comparatively negligent.” This means that the court finds you partially responsible for your own injuries, even if the other driver caused the accident.
Whether you were wearing a helmet or not will greatly impact the strength of your personal injury claim. Because Nevada has a strict policy on helmets, it is in your best interest to always wear a helmet, regardless of the speed or distance that you will be riding. Just because you act with diligence and caution on the road, it does not mean that another driver won’t fly out of nowhere and cause a serious accident. Always wear a helmet.
Contact an Attorney
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Bighorn Law. The attorneys at Bighorn Law specialize in personal injury litigation and will work to get you the compensation, and justice, that you deserve.