Head trauma is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
The state of New York has had a universal motorcycle helmet law since 1967. This means that anyone operating or riding on a motorcycle in New York must wear a helmet. If you or your passengers are caught without a helmet, you can be ticketed and fined.
New York’s helmet laws were enacted to keep New Yorkers safer. Wearing a helmet can protect your head, and helmet use has been tied to higher rates of survival in motorcycle accidents and lower instances of serious brain injuries. Helmet use has also been tied to a decrease in open head injuries, which often cause devastating consequences and death.
Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet can negatively affect your personal injury case if you are injured in an accident. The state of New York considers the principle of comparative negligence when determining an award of damages. This principle establishes that if a person contributes to their own injuries, the compensation recovered from the other responsible parties will be limited to the extent that the injured party contributed to the situation.
In a motorcycle accident case, if you broke your leg when your bike fell over, failing to wear a helmet would not impact your recovery of damages for your broken leg. However, if you weren’t wearing a helmet and you were thrown from your motorcycle during an accident, hit your head and suffered an open head injury, your compensation would be limited based on your own negligence. If you had been wearing a helmet your injuries may not be as serious, and it will be the responsibility of the person who caused the accident to pay the difference in costs or damages, rather than the entire injury, when you aren’t following the law.
In situations involving head injuries and the failure to wear a motorcycle helmet, you want an experienced attorney to handle your New York motorcycle accident case. Your attorney will work to help you limit your comparative negligence through the introduction of evidence and expert testimony, allowing you to maximize your recovery of compensation.
At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we represent individuals and their family members who need to pursue personal injury cases after motorcycle accidents. We understand how New York helmet laws may affect your case and our experienced attorneys can help you understand your options. Call us today for a free consultation.