It is always a good idea for motorcycle riders to wear a helmet in order to protect themselves. Yet even beyond the physical risks, riding without one can prove to be legally risky as well. You should understand the physical and legal impact of helmets in Memphis motorcycle accidents before you go out for a ride. A Board-certified attorney such as David E. Gordon can assist you in the event that you need to file a lawsuit for damages.
Are Motorcyclists Required to Wear Helmets in Memphis?
Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets in Tennessee. The helmet must be compliant with Department of Transportation guidelines, and must indicate its compliancy on the tag. There are no circumstances in which a person is allowed to ride a motorbike without a helmet. This includes passengers as well.
If a police officer catches a biker riding without an approved helmet, they could be ticketed and fined at least $50.
The Role of Helmets in Preventing Brain Damage
In any kind of motor vehicle collision, a head injury can be one of the most severe consequences. When person’s brain is jarred in an accident, it slams against the skull, causing injury. Even a small injury to the brain can result in significant harm to a person. In many instances a driver who has suffered a brain injury might end up forgetting how to perform basic tasks or remember personal pieces of information such as passwords or phone numbers.
Since motorcycles do not have a large protective frame like a car does, the head is much more exposed in a crash. Wearing a helmet can have a big impact on what happens to someone in a local motorcycle accident, as it is crucial to the brain’s protection. An especially serious blow to the head could result in someone losing the ability to speak, walk, or use their limbs in the way they did prior to the accident. Brain injuries can alter a person’s life forever.
The Effectiveness of Helmets
Wearing a helmet provides much-needed protection to the head in the event of a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that helmets could save the lives of more than 2,000 motorcyclists in a given year. In addition, helmets help prevent life-altering brain injuries. The potential benefits of wearing a helmet should far exceed the desire not to wear one.
Wearing protective head gear does not guarantee that the brain will be completely protected in an accident, but it is estimated by the NHTSA that helmets are about 37 percent effective in saving motorcycle drivers’ lives and 41 percent effective in saving passengers’ lives.
How Does the Lack of a Helmet Impact Damage Recovery?
Not wearing a helmet could impact a Memphis motorbike crash claim in a big way. A jury is not likely to compensate an injured biker who was not wearing a helmet to the same extent as it would compensate someone who was in full compliance with the law. If the injury that the biker suffered was to some part of the body other than the head, then the fact that they were not wearing a helmet is of no relevance and it cannot be used against them. David can advocate for someone who was injured on another part of their body and make sure their lack of a helmet does not limit their damages award.
If the brain was damaged, then the absence of a helmet will be a factor in the size of the settlement or jury verdict. Memphis is a comparative fault jurisdiction. As long as the motorcyclist is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, they are entitled to recover damages for their injuries. However, the amount of their recovery is reduced by whatever percentage of fault is assigned to them.
Discuss the Impact of Helmets on Memphis Motorcycle Accidents with an Attorney
Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable in accidents than other motor vehicle drivers. Wearing a helmet is not only required by law – it is critical for your safety. A jury might find you partially liable for any head injuries that result if you do not wear one. Do not leave yourself open to reduced compensation. Speak with David E. Gordon after suffering an injury while riding a motorcycle.