Can I Still Sue After a Motorcycle Accident if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
Yes, you can still sue after a motorcycle accident if you were not wearing a helmet, but the amount of financial compensation you receive for your injuries may be affected. In New York, helmets are mandatory for both riders and passengers. Failure to do so– would likely be considered negligent. However, New York is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning you can still recover damages from an accident even if you were negligent.
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Pure Comparative Negligence
In some personal injury accidents, it is clear who is to blame for causing the accident. But in many others, it is not– two or more parties may have been partially at fault. Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, any party that was less than 100 percent responsible for the accident can still file a claim to pursue damages. Under this legal theory, an accident victim who was 99 percent at fault can file a lawsuit to receive damages.
Once your total amount of damages is determined– that number will be reduced in proportion to your share of the blame for the crash. For example, if it is determined that you suffered $2 million in damages in a motorcycle accident, and you were 25 percent at fault, then you would net a $1.5 million payout.
How Not Wearing a Helmet May Affect Your Case
By clearly violating a law that was designed with the intent of keeping you as safe as possible, the jury will almost certainly find that you were negligent in not wearing a helmet. The issue will then become what portion of the responsibility for your injuries is assigned to your negligence. Many motorcycle riders and occupants do end up with head injuries. However, your injuries may have nothing to do with the head or neck region of your body.
For example, you violated the mandatory helmet law by not wearing one–but your only injuries were to your lower body. Your negligence in not wearing a helmet may not affect the amount of your damages. In that case, you are more likely to be eligible to receive 100 percent if it is determined that the other driver caused the crash.
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Hiring the Right Attorney is Crucial
Our attorneys at Douglas and London strongly advise that you hire an experienced New York City personal injury lawyer to represent you. At Douglas and London, we know how to build your case to maximize your financial compensation. In the example mentioned above, an experienced attorney will have medical experts ready to consult with and potentially prove that the injuries you suffered had nothing to do with your lack of a helmet. Therefore, being paid the full amount of your damages is appropriate.
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Since launching nearly 20 years ago, we have secured billions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of our clients. We have the experience, resources, and team of experts that it takes to build a case for our clients and maximize their financial compensation. We’re available 24/7, so schedule your free consultation today