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Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle isn’t
just a safety issue—it’s a legal one.
There are only two states in the nation that do not have any motorcycle helmet laws: Illinois and Iowa. The rest have their own helmet laws dictating when and how you should wear helmets while on your bike.
New York’s motorcycle helmet law states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he wears a protective helmet.” Failure to wear a helmet could lead to a fine.
If you get into an accident while not wearing a helmet and survive your injuries, you could also see your potential compensation decreased. The following are a few potential scenarios and what each does to your ability to recover compensation:
- Wearing a helmet with no head or neck injury: If you were wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of your crash, but did not suffer any head or neck injuries, the helmet will be irrelevant to your claim. However, you can use it as evidence that you are a responsible and safe rider.
- Not wearing a helmet with no head or neck injury: Again, if you were not wearing a helmet and did not sustain head or neck injuries in your accident, the helmet is irrelevant to your claim. Still, your lack of a helmet could be used to portray you as being reckless.
- Wearing a helmet with a head or neck injury: If you were wearing a helmet, but still suffered head or neck injuries in your accident, the helmet is extremely important. It shows the injuries could have been significantly worse had you not taken the appropriate steps to protect yourself in accordance with the law. It also illustrates how dangerous the at-fault party’s actions were.
- Not wearing a helmet with a head or neck injury: If you suffered a head or neck injury while not wearing a helmet on your motorcycle in New York, it will be difficult for you to recover damages for the head injury, although you may still be able to recover compensation for other injuries suffered in the crash. Because the state has a helmet law in place, it is automatically established that you share some negligence and liability with regard to your head injury. The only exception is if you can somehow prove the injury would still have occurred even if you were wearing a helmet.
For more information and guidance on liability and recovering damages in motorcycle accident cases, contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney with Robinson & Yablon, P.C.