Can a rider recover damages if they weren’t wearing their helmet?

If you’re riding a motorcycle in Texas and you’re 21 and over, the law doesn’t always require you to wear a helmet.

But if the other side can convince a jury that you’re partly to blame for your motorcycle accident injuries, you might get less money, even less than your property damage and medical bills.

Texas Does Not Have Strict Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Texas state motorcycle laws require every rider under the age of 21 to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. But if you are 21 and do not want to wear a helmet while riding, you can finish a safety course or have an insurance plan that will cover you without a helmet.

It’s not hard to understand why some Texas bikers do not want to wear a helmet while riding their motorcycles. Some feel it’s their choice to make, not the government’s. Others don’t like the feeling of helmets on their heads. Some just like feeling the wind on the open road.

But Riding Without a Helmet Might Mean You Get Nothing

Scientific and government research shows that many motorcycle accidents happen even though the rider did nothing wrong. Very often, the automobile driver just didn’t see the motorcycle.

But you are not guaranteed a cash settlement from an at-fault driver if you weren’t wearing a helmet. In fact, not wearing one might make it harder to get.

Modified Comparative Fault in Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

In Texas, if you are partly at fault for a motorcycle accident, you recover less money.

And if you are mostly at fault for injuries (more than 51% responsible), then you get nothing. This is known as Texas’ modified comparative negligence rule. Negligence is the legal term for carelessness.

Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet in Texas May Be Considered Negligent

After Texas changed its law in 2009 and stopped requiring helmets for bikers, helmet use in Texas went down. Traumatic brain injury from motorcycle accidents went up. Other types of motorcycle accident injuries stayed the same.

Insurance companies and their lawyers might argue that you were partly to blame for your injuries because you chose not to wear a helmet. They could say that if you had been wearing a helmet, you would not have had any head or facial injuries.

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, contact Justinian & Associates today. We offer a free consultation with a seasoned Texas motorcycle accident attorney. Tell us your story, and we’ll explain your options under Texas law. No obligation.