Motorcycle accident injuries tend to be very severe, with motorcyclists being around 5 times more likely to end up dead in road accidents when compared to those inside passenger vehicles. Several factors influence motorcycle accidents, including whether or not a helmet was worn. But, this might not be as important as you might think.
According to a top rated motorcycle accident attorney in Massachusetts, in most cases, you can file injury claims even when you did not wear your helmet. However, there are differences when talking about this from one state to the next.
No Helmet Defense
There are US states where it simply does not matter if the helmet was worn or not. This is because of the fact that a similar approach happens in regular car accidents in regards to the seatbelt. When states decided that during car accident claims the failure to wear the seatbelt is irrelevant, a very similar approach is taken with the helmet in motorcycle claims.
Helmet Defense For Lower Damages
In most US states, the defendant can introduce a defense that the plaintiff did not wear their helmet when determining appropriate damages. This is a logical defense because wearing helmets do mitigate some of the injuries suffered.
The helmet defense appears during the damages phase of the process. To be allowed, this is a defense that requires the defendant to fully prove that the injuries of the plaintiff would have been less serious in the event that a helmet would have been worn. Basically, if broken bones appeared but there are no head injuries, not wearing the helmet is not relevant.
In the states where this is an acceptable approach, the jury apportions fault for the parties involved. This does include the victim. Injuries can be recovered when the fault of the victim is under 50%. The only difference in payouts is that they are reduced by the fault percentage of the victim.
Helmet Defenses In Damages And Liability Phases
The last approach is the one that is the rarest. When the motorcyclist does not wear the helmet, it will not influence the accident taking place. Actually, in many states, the adult rider is not obliged by law to wear the helmet while riding a motorcycle. The defendant can thus argue the fact that the injuries would have not appeared when the plaintiff was wearing the helmet but this is irrelevant since the law states nothing about it.
At the end of the day, what is very important is to get a motorcycle attorney to represent you as you file an injury claim. This is true whether you had the helmet on or not. Your lawyer is going to build the strongest possible case based on the unique circumstances of your accident. Also, the legal professional will make sure that all legal actions that can be taken will be taken so you will receive the highest possible financial compensation. This is the desired outcome in all cases, regardless of injury or actual accident circumstances.