Helmet use is proven to save lives in motorcycle accidents. However, Texas does not require all motorcyclists to wear helmets when operating a motorcycle.
Motorcyclists who choose not to wear helmets are assuming the risk of head injuries in the event of a crash, but what if that crash was someone else’s fault? Can a rider still file an accident claim for head injuries?
The following article addresses this question along with Texas motorcycle helmet law, but every motorcycle accident is unique. If you have specific questions or would like your accident reviewed, contact an experienced Dallas motorcycle accident attorney.
Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Texas motorcycle helmet laws are age-dependent. Anyone operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger who is under the age of 21 MUST wear a helmet.
Motorcycle operators and riders over the age of 21 are not required to wear a helmet if they have:
- Successfully completed an approved motorcycle operator training and safety course; and
- Are covered by a health insurance plan that provides medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a motorcycle accident.
It is against Texas law to operate a motorcycle with a passenger who is not in compliance with the above law. Both the operator and passenger will be cited.
Repeat failures to obey the health insurance mandate may result in motorcycle license suspense.
Modified Comparative Negligence or Proportionate Responsibility in Texas
Texas follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence or proportionate responsibility in personal injury cases. This can greatly affect a motorcycle operator’s ability to recover damages if they were not wearing a helmet during an accident.
Under modified comparative negligence, each party to a case is assigned a proportion or percentage of fault for an accident from none to 100. In this scenario, both parties would likely be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident since the motorcyclist’s head injuries were the result of not wearing a helmet.
For example, the party who caused the accident may be assigned 60% fault for the accident while the motorcyclist may be assigned 40% fault. This would reduce any compensation the motorcyclist receives by 40%.
Therefore, if the motorcyclist was awarded $100,000 in damages, their award would be reduced by $40,000. This would leave the motorcyclist with $60,000 in damages.
Texas does not allow anyone found more than 50% at fault for an accident to recover damages from the other party.
Damages Available in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Whether or not a qualified motorcyclist wears a helmet in Texas is a personal choice. However, pursuing damages for head injuries can be less complicated when motorcyclists wear appropriate safety gear and follow the rules of the road.
The types of damages available in a motorcycle accident claim vary according to the severity of the victim’s injuries and their prognosis for recovery, but compensation may include:
- Medical bills;
- Hospital stays;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning potential;
- Home care and rehabilitation; and
- Pain and suffering.
To learn more about damages in a motorcycle accident claim, contact an experienced Dallas motorcycle accident attorney.
Contact an Experienced Dallas Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a Texas motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, you may still be able to recover compensation for your head injuries. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers to discuss your case today.
At Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers we relentlessly pursue compensation for victims of motorcycle accidents and their families. Do not wait to call us about your claim at (214) 307-8387. Texas has strict deadlines for filing motorcycle accident claims!