There is no doubt about it, motorcycle helmets can significantly reduce the risk of suffering a catastrophic or fatal head injury in an accident. Under Texas laws, all motorcyclists below the age of 21 must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Motorcycle Accident Not Wearing Helmet
If your loved one was in a motorcycle accident, and suffered injuries, but was not wearing a helmet at the time, that failure may impact the personal injury claim. The extent of the impact will depend on the type of injuries that were suffered, and other factors.
For instance, if your loved one suffered head injuries, then s/he can expect the defendant to allege that the injuries were the result of the failure to wear a helmet. Motorcycle helmets play a significant role in helping reduce the risk of brain injury, and the inability to wear the helmet can place a person at least partially at fault in causing the injuries.
Comparative Fault Laws
Texas modified comparative fault laws will apply in a case like this, and a court may decide to lower the damages that are due to your loved one, by the extent of his/her negligence in the accident. A court will determine the percentage of fault attributable to both parties and will lower the damages by the scope of the fault of the injured party.
However, the laws do not allow your loved one to recover damages if s/he was more than 51 percent at fault in the accident. To figure out the percentage of fault – down to this small one percent — speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Dallas.
If your loved one suffered injuries that could not possibly have been prevented by a helmet, like lower extremity injuries, the court may not determine that s/he was responsible by the failure to wear a helmet. A helmet can do nothing to protect against leg injuries. In a case like this, a court may not decide to lower damages.
Comparative Negligence and Wrongful Death
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident but was not wearing a helmet at the time, then again, the matter will hinge on what kind of fatal injuries were suffered. If the injuries involve head injuries, the failure to wear a helmet will possibly adversely impact your wrongful death claim. In a case like this, the court may consider that the failure to wear a helmet exacerbated the severity of the injuries and caused the death.
To understand whether you can recover damages in a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one in a situation like this, speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer. Call 214-290-8001 and discuss your case with the Law Office of Julie Jonson.