Motorcycle Accidents and the Law
Motorcycles are motor vehicles just like cars and trucks and motorcyclists are, therefore, expected to abide by all of the traffic regulations set out by their state. In addition, there are some laws that specifically apply to motorcyclists that do not apply to other drivers. These laws generally exist because of the significant risks of serious injuries that may result in motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 88,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries in accidents in one year in the U.S. and another 4.668 were killed. Many laws regarding motorcycle safety are intended to prevent such injuries and deaths in collisions.
Helmet laws are one example of a law that is unique to motorcycle riders. The following are brief summaries of the helmet laws in different states:
Maryland — All motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation.
New Jersey — All motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation.
Pennsylvania — All motorcyclists age 20 and younger must wear approved helmets. If you are 21 years of age or older, you do not have to wear a helmet if you have completed a motorcycle safety course approved by the state or if you have had a motorcycle license for two years or longer.
How do Helmet Laws Come into Play in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
If another driver is negligent and causes a collision with your motorcycle, you have the right to file a legal claim for personal injury to recover for your medical bills and other losses. However, do you still have the right to recover if you were not wearing a helmet?
Whether a helmet law will affect your case will depend on the nature of your injuries and the circumstances of your accident. For example, even if you were in violation of helmet laws, it will likely not affect your case if you did not suffer head injuries. If you are seeking recovery for a broken leg, you should still be able to obtain full compensation from a negligent party.
Even if you did sustain a head injury, it should not completely bar your right to recovery from the negligent party. Your lack of a helmet may be found to be a contributing factor to your injuries, but the negligent party can still be held at least partially liable for your losses.
Call for a Consultation with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should discuss a claim with an experienced personal injury lawyer–whether you were wearing a helmet or not. If you need assistance in MD, NJ, or PA, please call the Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons at 610-255-7500 as soon as possible.