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Can You File an Injury Claim If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet in a Texas Motorcycle Accident?

Posted on April 5, 2024 in

Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun, but those who love to be on the road on their motorcycle know that riding also comes with serious risks. In case of an accident while riding a motorcycle, wearing protective gear like helmets and rugged clothing to cover the body is highly recommended, as these considerations can significantly reduce the severity of injuries.

However, what happens if you weren’t wearing a helmet during a motorcycle accident in Texas? Can you still file an injury claim? This article explores the legal implications and considerations surrounding helmet use and injury claims in Texas.

Understanding Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Texas law mandates helmet use for motorcycle operators and passengers under certain circumstances. According to the Texas Transportation Code, Section 661.003, individuals are required to wear a helmet if they are operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle that is moving and has an engine displacement of more than 50 cubic centimeters.

Contributory Negligence in Texas

Texas uses the modified comparative negligence legal theory, which means that even if you had some degree of blame in the accident, you could still be entitled to damages; however, the amount of damages you get will depend on your level of fault. When thinking about fault, it’s essential to understand how contributory negligence may apply in cases where the injured party was not wearing a helmet.

The Impact of Helmet Non-Use on Injury Claims

In Texas, it is possible that not wearing a helmet can potentially impact your ability to recover damages in a motorcycle accident injury claim. While Texas law does not explicitly prohibit recovery for injured motorcyclists who did not wear helmets during their accident, insurance companies and defense attorneys may argue the point that your failure to wear a helmet could be considered contributory negligence.

Comparative Negligence and Helmet Non-Use

The idea of comparative negligence is applied to determining liability and damages in a motorcycle accident case in which the injured person was not wearing a helmet. The court may impose a percentage of blame on you if it finds that your failure to wear a helmet increased the severity of your injuries. The amount of compensation you get may be lowered in relation to your degree of responsibility for the injuries due to this percentage of blame.

Case Precedents

In many states, legal precedents have addressed the issue of helmet non-use and its impact on injury claims. The courts have held that evidence of a plaintiff’s failure to wear a helmet could be admissible to show comparative negligence. However, in past cases, some rulings have emphasized that the failure to wear a helmet should only be considered when relevant to the cause or extent of the injuries.

Protecting Your Rights

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Texas and were not wearing a helmet, it’s crucial to protect your rights and interests. Here are some steps you can take to strengthen your injury claim:

1. Seek Medical Attention:

Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet, seek medical attention immediately following the accident. Getting medical help as soon as possible is essential, even if injuries appear minor. In car crashes, delayed onset of symptoms is typical, and a medical examination might identify hidden injuries. In the instant aftermath of a car collision, several injuries, such as internal bleeding and spinal injuries, can frequently be worse than they first appear due to stress and adrenaline. Documenting your injuries is essential for establishing the extent of damages.

2. Gather Evidence:

Gather all available information from the accident scene, such as pictures, witness accounts, and police records. This data can bolster your argument and disprove accusations of contributory negligence stemming from helmet non-use.

3. Consult with an Experienced Attorney:

Consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who has experience handling motorcycle accident cases in Texas. An attorney can assess the circumstances of your case, advise you on your legal options, and help you navigate the complexities of the legal process.

4. Know Your Rights:

Understand your rights under Texas law and how helmet non-use may affect your injury claim. Being informed and proactive can empower you to make informed decisions and protect your interests throughout the legal proceedings.

Call The Alfred Firm Today

As discussed, while Texas law does not outright bar injured motorcyclists from filing injury claims if they were not wearing helmets, helmet non-use can still impact the outcome of a case and whether or not your personal injury claim is successful. Insurance companies and defense attorneys may argue contributory negligence, potentially reducing the amount of compensation you receive.

However, by taking proactive steps, seeking legal guidance, and understanding your rights, you can work towards securing fair compensation for your injuries in a Texas motorcycle accident, regardless of helmet use. Seeking assistance from an experienced attorney can be invaluable in fighting potential contributory negligence accusations.

Accidents are unexpected expenses, and The Alfred Firm is here to help you recover financially after your injury. Reach out to our team at 713-470-9714 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll take a look at the specifics of your case and make a plan to get the compensation you need after your motorcycle accident.