Skipping the Safety Gear Could Impact your Settlement
A clear morning dawns with the promise of plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the day. The perfect day to hop on your motorcycle and enjoy the freedom that only comes with two wheels. It may be tempting to skip the protective gear and feel the wind in your face, but it’s not just about keeping yourself safe. If you’re involved in an accident, your settlement could be lower if you weren’t wearing your helmet.
There are several factors at play here, and let’s take a look as Zach Herbert and Brian Eberstein, your motorcycle accident attorneys serving Texas and Oklahoma, walks you through it all.
Helmet Laws in Texas and Oklahoma
When you’re riding, it’s recommended that you wear all safety gear. It’s in your best interest. However, in neither state are you required to wear a helmet if you meet the requirements.
In Oklahoma, the only requirement is that you are over the age of 18.
In Texas, you have to be over the age of 21, and:
- Have medical insurance that will cover your injuries if you’re involved in a motorcycle wreck
- Have proof that you completed an approved motorcycle training course
If you meet the requirements, and you choose not to wear a helmet, that doesn’t mean that your motorcycle wreck lawsuit will be thrown out of court. It just means you might end up with a lower settlement.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In Texas, there is what is called a modified comparative fault system. Simply put, the damages you can recover from a claim are reduced by the amount of fault you are determined to carry. If you are found to be 51% at fault, or more, you aren’t able to collect any damages.
How does that play out in the real world?
How Helmets Affect Your Motorcycle Wreck Lawsuit
Let’s look at two scenarios. In both cases the other driver is found to be 100% at fault, and you’re trying to recover damages so that you can get your life back on track. In both cases you were not wearing year helmet while riding.
Scenario One: Driving along, going the speed limit, and overall driving safely, you’re caught off guard when a driver fails to yield and turns in front of you. A collision ensues, and you break your leg in the accident.
Even though you were not wearing your helmet, the injuries you sustained would not have been prevented if you were wearing a helmet, and your settlement should not be affected.
Scenario Two: You’re driving, going the speed limit, and being safe on your bike. Again, a driver fails to yield and you collide. This time, however, you hit your head and suffer a traumatic brain injury along with the broken leg.
Your injuries would most likely have been far less severe had a helmet been in place and worn properly. The court may discount the settlement due to the fact that these injuries were preventable.
Now for the tricky part: without a motorcycle accident attorney on your side, you have fewer options.
Contact Herbert and Eberstein if You have been in a Motorcycle Wreck
With the help of a legal expert, you are in a better situation to be fully compensated for any damages that you have suffered. Most settlement offers will be far lower than what you actually need, and it’s Zach and Brian’s jobs to make sure that you’re taken care of; whether you wore your helmet or not.
If you have been in a motorcycle wreck, you need to chat with an attorney. There’s no cost, and no obligation. The goal is to see how we can help you. Fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 214-414-3808 and let’s talk.