How Not Wearing a Helmet May Affect a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Aug 28, 2019 in Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle is even more dangerous if you do so without wearing a helmet. There is a greater risk of suffering a severe head or brain injury if you are involved in a crash.
Victims of these crashes may think they cannot file an injury claim because of their failure to wear a helmet, even if they think another driver is to blame for the accident. Below, learn more about this issue and why you should still consider talking about the situation with a licensed Phoenix motorcycle accident lawyer with Phillips Law Group to determine if you may have a case.
Arizona Law on Motorcycle Helmets
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, there were 792 motorcycle accidents in 2016, including 32 that resulted in deaths. Half of riders involved in deadly collisions were not wearing a helmet.
Despite the potential danger of not wearing a helmet, Arizona does not require every rider to wear one. Under Arizona Revised Statutes 28-964, only riders who are younger than 18 are required to wear them.
What May Happen When Riders Were Wearing Helmets
If a rider was wearing a helmet at the time of an accident, he or she may be more likely to avoid traumatic brain injuries. He or she may also be able to avoid being blamed for the severity of the injuries by insurance companies and attorneys for the at-fault party.
If the victim was wearing a helmet, his or her attorney may be able to argue the injuries could have been much worse without one. This may put more attention on the other driver’s actions, which could help strengthen the victim’s case.
If the victim did not suffer a head injury, the question of whether the rider was wearing a helmet may be irrelevant. Your attorney may also be able to argue you followed safe-riding guidelines because you were wearing a helmet.
What May Happen When Riders Were Not Wearing Helmets
If you suffered a head or neck injury and were not wearing a helmet, insurance adjusters may argue you bear the majority of fault for the injury, or your compensation award should be lowered by your percentage of fault.
They may produce publications or expert testimony about how helmet use can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries. One of their main arguments might be that you would not have suffered the injury if you were wearing a helmet.
How Comparative Fault May Apply
When an accident victim is partially at fault for the accident, Arizona’s comparative negligence law may apply. Under this law, the amount of any compensation you may be awarded will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Insurance companies may try to apply this law to your claim, particularly if you were not wearing a helmet. If you file a lawsuit, juries will also consider this law and the circumstances of your crash. For example, if an insurance adjuster or jury finds you were 30 percent at fault in the accident, your compensation may be reduced by 30 percent.
Call an Experienced Lawyer for Help with Your Accident Claim
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, you may still have a viable claim. The experienced attorneys at Phillips Law Group can discuss your claim and any potential obstacles in a free consultation.