How Using Motorcycle Safety Equipment Affects Injury Claims
Helmets and other equipment play an important role in motorcycle safety. From 2002 to 2017, more than 25,000 lives were saved by wearing motorcycle helmets, as reported by the National Safety Council. Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective for preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle operators and 41% effective for passengers. Other safety equipment can also help prevent severe injuries in a motorcycle crash. And use or failure to use a helmet and protective gear can impact an injury claim.
What Protective Apparel Should Motorcycle Riders Wear?
Protective apparel is the only defense against injury a motorcyclist has in a crash. Riders should use the following equipment, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 compliant helmet
- Heavy-duty jacket and pants
- Eye protection (motorcycle riding glasses)
What Types of Injuries Do Motorcycle Accidents Cause?
As they lack the safety of seat belts, airbags, crumple zones, and other protections of an enclosed vehicle, motorcycle riders can suffer serious injuries in a crash. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractured bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Road rash
- Bikers arm
- Facial fractures and injuries
How Can the Use of Safety Equipment Affect a Motorcycle Injury Claim?
Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets under Nebraska law. If you have been injured in a crash that was someone else’s fault, failure to wear a helmet and use safety equipment could impact your claim for compensation. Nebraska follows modified comparative negligence laws, under which each party involved in an accident may be assigned a certain percentage of fault. If you are deemed to be 50% or more at fault, you are barred from recovering damages.
If you are assigned a percentage of fault for the crash, your damages will be reduced accordingly. For example, if the other driver is deemed 80% at fault, you are deemed 20% at fault, and your damages total $100,000, your actual recovery will be $80,000.
Particularly if you suffered head injuries, you could be considered partially negligent if you were not wearing a helmet in a motorcycle crash caused by another driver. Failure to wear a helmet could also impact a claim for neck injury damages, as helmets can reduce neck injuries in some cases. However, if you suffered fractured bones, back injuries, or other injuries, you may be able to seek full damages.
How Can You Protect Your Rights as a Motorcyclist?
The best way to protect your rights as a motorcyclist in Nebraska is to follow the rules of the road and wear an FMVSS-compliant helmet and other protective gear. Riding without a helmet is against the law. If you are involved in an accident caused by another driver, you will be deemed partially negligent and liable for your own injuries. The other side will use your failure to wear a helmet to reduce your compensation.
If you are able, after a motorcycle crash, gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. In addition to information on the other drivers involved, get names and contact information for any eyewitnesses. Take pictures of the scene, the vehicles involved, and any visible injuries you sustained. Get prompt medical attention for treatment to document your injuries and contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your Omaha motorcycle accident attorney will guide you through the legal process of filing a claim and pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Steer Your Case to Victory with Bottlinger Law L.L.C.
After being injured in a serious Omaha motorcycle crash, you want a legal team on your side that knows the ins and outs of these types of cases. Contact Bottlinger Law L.L.C.—we have won millions in compensation for our clients. We are proud of our Midwestern values, including our strong work ethic, and we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay for injuries that weren’t your fault.
Contact our Omaha personal injury law firm today at (402) 505-8234 for complimentary consultations to discuss your legal rights and options as a rider.
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