No Helmet Motorcycle Accident Claim
Helmets are required for all riders and passengers on motorcycles in New Jersey. You can still file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against another driver, however, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet in an accident. Although not wearing a helmet could impact the amount of money that you receive for a claim, it will not bar you from financial recovery entirely. Find out how to handle a no helmet accident claim for the best possible results.
New Jersey’s Motorcycle Helmet Law
New Jersey has a universal law requiring all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear approved and properly fitting safety helmets while riding. This law applies to everyone on a motorcycle, regardless of age. A rider’s motorcycle helmet must have the safety approval seal from the Department of Transportation. Riding a motorcycle without a helmet can result in a ticket and fine in New Jersey.
Is the Helmet Defense Allowed in New Jersey?
If you get into a collision on your motorcycle while not wearing a helmet, this could impact your injury claim. Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to serious and fatal injuries in traffic collisions than passengers in standard motor vehicles. Common injuries include head, skull and brain injuries; broken bones; soft-tissue injuries; back and neck injuries; and road rash and lacerations.
Wearing a helmet significantly reduces your risk of head and brain injuries on a motorcycle. This is why the law in New Jersey and most other states require you to wear a helmet while riding. If you were breaking New Jersey’s law by riding without a helmet at the time of your accident, the other party involved in your case can use this fact against you. This will not bar you from financial recovery entirely, but it can take away from the amount of financial compensation that you receive from the other driver’s insurance company.
Modified Comparative Fault in New Jersey
New Jersey is a modified comparative fault state (New Jersey Statute 2A:15-5.1). This means that rather than using a contributory negligence law, which bars an accident victim from financial recovery if he or she is any degree to blame for an accident, the New Jersey courts still allow a victim to recover at least partial financial compensation. You can still recover financial compensation as an injured motorcyclist as long as you are found to be less than 51 percent responsible for the motorcycle accident or the injuries that you are claiming.
It is extremely unlikely that failing to wear a helmet alone will place more than 50 percent of the blame for your injuries with you. This is because your failure to wear a helmet does not take away the fact that the other driver caused your crash. If it is proven that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to a head or brain injury, however, the courts will reduce your compensatory award by an amount that is equivalent to the percentage you contributed to your injuries by not wearing a helmet.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Attorney After a Motorcycle Accident?
It is important to hire a motorcycle accident attorney in New Jersey during a no helmet motorcycle accident claim. An attorney can help you minimize your percentage of fault for your injuries – including a head injury if you weren’t wearing a helmet – to maximize your financial recovery. A lawyer has the ability to properly handle your case, including arguing against the comparative fault or helmet defense. Your attorney can take over all of the legal processes involved in your injury claim on your behalf while you concentrate on healing from a serious injury.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. today for a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. We can help you with a no helmet motorcycle accident claim.