If You Were Not Wearing a Helmet, Will It Affect Your Accident Case?

Wearing a helmet can help prevent a serious injury or even save a life in motorcycle accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that severe head injuries are common in fatal motorcycle accidents. Helmets prevent about 37 percent of motorcyclists from dying and about 67 percent from experiencing brain injuries.

These percentages are significant. In 2017, about 14 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities were motorcycle accident deaths, which was double the statistic in 1997.

In 2016, the number of motorcycle deaths was almost 28 times the number of car accident deaths.

New York Helmet Law

New York Helmet Law

The State of New York requires all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets. The helmet must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards.

How Does Wearing a Helmet Affect a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

In any New York vehicle accident, the court assigns a percentage of fault to the parties involved. Any violations of the law would indicate negligence on the part of the person in violation. The legal term for this method of assigning fault is contributory negligence.

For this reason, if you were in a motorcycle accident and not wearing a helmet, the court is likely to assign you a percentage of fault for the injury you experienced. Courts reduce the amount of compensation that you can recover based on your percentage of fault. If you were 30 percent at fault, and damages were $100,000,your recovery of damages would be reduced by 30 percent ($70,000).

Other New York Law that Affects Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles are not considered vehicles under New York No-Fault insurance law. In addition, an injured motorcyclist does not have to meet the “serious injury” threshold to sue another party for damages. In addition to the fact that many motorcycle accident injuries are serious, this is important to know.

If you are involved in a serious motorcycle accident, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible so you understand your legal rights to recover compensation.