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Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents (Part Two) | Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel, LLP

In the last article, specific situations regarding motorcycle accidents and fault were covered. Questions regarding topics such as right away in an intersection, comparative negligence, and actions to take were answered.

This article will continue answering some frequently asked questions about motorcycles, specifically those regarding helmets.

If I only ride every so often, do I still need to wear a helmet?

The answer to this question will depend on the state in which you live. States such as California and New York require that all drivers and passengers on motorcycles must wear a helmet at all times, while states like Texas have exemptions to helmet laws. In Texas, if you’re over the age of 21 and completed a Department-approved training course and have motorcycle-specific health insurance. However, the amount that you ride will not affect your need to wear a helmet. If the law requires you to wear one, you must comply even if you only ride occasionally.

If I am injured while not wearing my helmet, can I still recover damages?

For the majority of states, even those with laws that require helmets, you will still most likely be able to recover damages from the other driver if you are not at fault. Your failure to comply with the state’s helmet law may affect the amount that you can recover, though. Consulting with motorcycle or car accident attorneys who are familiar with the laws and regulations will help you recover any damages.

How do I know if my helmet is suitable under the law?

When shopping for a helmet or if looking at the one you currently have, look for a Department of Transportation label or sticker. If it says it’s DOT certified, then it meets the safety requirements necessary to qualify. If you’re unsure, asking a professional in the motorcycle or helmet industry may be helpful.

While helmets may save your life in the event of a motorcycle accident, they do not prevent the accidents from happening. Motorcyclists often go “unseen” on roadways by traditional drivers, either because they aren’t looking or they’re distracted. In 2015, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives. Look twice, save a life.

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