What if I’m hurt in a riding accident while not wearing a helmet?
While mandatory helmet laws for motorcyclists remain a matter of contention for many riders who value personal liberties, wearing a helmet is a no-brainer when it comes to safety. All one must do is ask anyone who has served in emergency medical care, and they will nearly universally tell you that not wearing a helmet is usually a one-way ticket to serious injury if an accident occurs. However, apart from the issues of personal safety, which are innately personal, choosing to not wear a helmet while riding can open you up to significant legal challenges if you need to file a personal injury claim after an accident.
The reality of the matter is that a motorcyclist who chooses to not wear a helmet (which is illegal in Louisiana), may find his or her options for recovery limited in a personal injury claim. Even in a case where the accident was deemed the fault of the other party, the defendant may be able to claim that the claimant’s injuries were do at least in part to his or her own negligence.
The fairness of this argument may not matter when it comes to the courtroom. Louisiana has a fairly contentious relationship with helmet laws — just last year a bill that would have made helmets optional cleared the House, but was ultimately shut down before becoming law. It is possible that the judge hearing your injury case will be sympathetic to rider’s rights, but should not be counted on.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you deserve to have your rights protected while you fight for fair compensation for your losses. With proper legal representation from an experienced attorney, you can confidently seek justice while you recover.
Source: Findlaw, “Helmet Laws and Motorcycle Accident Cases,” accessed Feb. 24, 2017