How Motorcycle Helmet Use Affects Personal Injury Claims in Arizona
The death and serious injury rate for motorcyclists is very high–much higher than that of passenger cars when in accidents. The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported 792 motorcycle accidents in 2016 alone and 32 of them were fatal. There is very little protection for motorcyclists and so riders need to wear all of the recommended safety equipment to give them a chance for increased safety while on the road. Motorcyclists are more at risk for serious head injuries when in an accident and these injuries are the leading cause of their death in motorcycle accidents. However, Arizona Revised Statutes 28-964 does not require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding. Only those drivers who are under 18 years-of-age must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
When an adult, 18 years-of-age or older decides to ride a motorcycle without a helmet and an accident occurs, they may be wondering if it can affect their ability to file a successful personal injury claim. After they have sought medical treatment from an accident it is then most important to contact a qualified Arizona motorcycle accident attorney to discuss the accident situation and determine if there is a valid claim to pursue. The next time motorcyclists decide to take their bike out for a ride, they should consider the following:
Riding Without A Helmet
A helmet has proven to be the most important piece of safety equipment a motorcyclist can wear. It is the single most effective piece of gear that can reduce the likelihood of acquiring traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in an accident. Injuries from an accident that occur to a rider who has not worn a helmet can be problematic for personal injury claims. It is not that a successful claim cannot be filed, but the ability for the victim to recover the highest amount of compensation could be at risk.
Conversely, if a motorcyclists had worn a helmet during an accident, the argument could be made that the injuries sustained would have even been greater if the helmet weren’t worn. If no head injuries were incurred, there is still a strong argument that can be made for those who wear a helmet. In this case, it would be argued that the victim was a safe rider following all the laws and subscribing to all the necessary safety measures, unlike the negligent party who caused the accident.
Arizona follows the comparative negligence system where compensation for injuries is based on fault. So motorcyclists who own some of the blame–less than 50 percent–for the accident can be provided compensation at a reduced amount. The reduction accounts for the percentage the victim was deemed responsible. If a helmet was not worn in an accident, this factor will play a key role in determining the responsibility that each party owns for the results of the accident. For instance, if you were deemed to be 20 percent responsible for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by 20 percent.
Can You Use a Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorney For Your Claim?
Most accidents that involve motorcycles cause at least modest injuries and many result in death. Across the country, there were over 5,000 deaths from motorcycle accidents in 2017. Your best ability to see the highest amount of compensation to help you move forward from your accident will be with the help of an Arizona automobile accident injury attorney at ELG. The legal team at ELG will help you with your personal injury claim. Don’t wait to get help after an accident that was not your fault, call our Phoenix or Mesa Arizona law offices today at (623) 562-3838.