Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can prevent serious head trauma and save your life in the event you are involved in an accident on your motorcycle. This is why New Jersey law requires all persons riding on a motorcycle to wear an approved helmet. If you disregard this requirement and get into an accident on your motorcycle, it can complicate your legal claim for compensation, even if the other party was entirely at fault for causing the accident.
Although head injuries are common in motorcycle accidents, particularly where a rider was not wearing a helmet, if you happened to not be wearing a helmet in your accident and were fortunate enough not to suffer any head trauma or traumatic brain injuries in the accident, then the fact that you were not wearing a helmet should have no effect on your claim for compensation for other injuries and damages you suffered in the accident.
If you did suffer head trauma or traumatic brain injury in your motorcycle accident and you weren’t wearing a helmet, it can reduce the amount of compensation you receive for those injuries or prevent you from receiving any compensation at all. New Jersey follows the comparative negligence rule, which states that a party who is partially at fault for his or her injuries may still recover compensation so long as he or she is not more than 50 percent responsible for an injury; the injured party’s compensation will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault for the injury.
As a result, not wearing a helmet will likely be found to have contributed to you suffering a head injury, or to the severity of your injury. So long as your decision to wear a helmet is determined to not be more than 50 percent responsible for your head injury, you will still be able to recover some compensation for your head injuries, with the total compensation for the damages you suffered from your head injuries reduced by your percentage of fault.
You should also note that if you get into a motorcycle accident and are not wearing a helmet, it could affect your insurance moving forward. Your motorcycle insurer may elect to cancel your coverage if your policy requires you to wear a helmet while riding, or your insurer may decline to renew your policy or increase your premiums as a result of you not wearing a helmet every time you ride.
By not wearing a helmet while riding your accident, you give the party at fault for causing your accident or the insurance companies a leg to stand on in denying you full compensation for your injuries and damages, especially when you’ve suffered head injuries in your accident. An attorney can help you if you were injured by an accident while not wearing your helmet by arguing that your lack of a helmet did not contribute or contribute greatly to your injuries and damages.
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motorcycle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. Attorney Andrew Prince Esq. represents clients injured because of motorcycle accidents in Clifton, Trenton, Camden, Passaic, and throughout New Jersey. Call (908) 304-9187 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Avenue, Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices in West New York.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.