motorcycle helmets

If you were injured in an accident while riding a motorcycle without a helmet, you might still be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages. Time is of the essence in filing a claim, so do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at TonaLaw for a free consultation.

New York’s highways, parkways, and expressways can be incredibly dangerous for motorcyclists. This is particularly evident considering the lack of protection from impact motorcyclists face when compared to other motor vehicles. In fact, motorcyclists have been found to be almost five times more likely to be killed in an accident compared to an individual in a car. Whenever a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, there is a high probability that they could be knocked to the ground while moving, thereby exacerbating an injury. In an attempt to persuade bikers to wear helmets for their safety, New York State is one of nineteen states which mandate that motorcyclists wear a helmet while riding. 

Specifically, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 381(6) requires motorcyclists to wear “a protective helmet of a type which meets the requirements set forth in section 571.218 of the federal motor vehicle safety standards.” 

Moreover, Section 381(7) states that motorcyclists must also wear a face shield or goggles while on a motorcycle. These requirements are in place for both drivers and passengers on motorcycles. It can be nearly impossible to independently verify that a helmet meets all the necessary federal regulations; instead, ensure your safety and legal compliance by purchasing a helmet that has a Department of Transportation certification. 

It is also necessary to point out that novelty helmets that are not certified by the Department of Transportation do not meet the necessary requirements. Moreover, motorcyclists who wore novelty helmets were roughly twice as likely to be killed in an accident compared to bikers who wore helmets with the appropriate certification. 

New York requires helmet usage due to their effectiveness in preventing traumatic brain injuries in the case of an accident. The New York State Department of Health has found that head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Furthermore, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle helmets at sixty-seven (67%) effective at preventing serious brain injuries, and twenty-nine (29%) effective at preventing otherwise fatal head injuries. 

New York State follows a legal doctrine known as comparative negligence in determining damages in personal injury claims. Under comparative negligence, the court will attempt to decide the amount of fault, determined as a percentage, that can be attributed to each person who was in the accident. This fault can apply to either responsibility in causing the accident or in exacerbating the injuries endured by the parties. New York implemented this rule because most accidents are not the sole result of a single person, aside from incidents that are clearly caused by one party’s mistake such as rear-end accidents.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident without wearing a helmet, comparative negligence might come into play if your injuries could have been avoided or mitigated by wearing the helmet. For example, if you sustained a traumatic brain injury that might have been avoided had a helmet been worn, then there is a possibility that you might recover fewer damages based upon your failure to wear the helmet. This comparative negligence analysis only factors into fault for the plaintiff’s damages, not for the overall liability for causing the accident. This is because the accident would not have been avoided had a helmet been worn by the biker. 

At TonaLaw, we understand the pain and difficulties our clients go through after they have been involved in a car or other personal injury accident, from medical costs, injuries, lost income and so much more.

We also understand how cunning insurance companies can be when trying to settle for less than the actual damages, not to mention the unorthodox tactics they use to try and derail court cases.

For this reason, you need a New York personal injury attorney who understands your pain and the justice process to ensure you get a deserved settlement. For legal services ranging from personal injury and no-fault collections to business litigation, call TonaLaw toll-free today at 1 (833) TONALAW or text 1 (631) 780-5355.

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