In Kentucky, riding a motorcycle without a helmet is allowed for all riders 21 and over. However, statistics show that leaving the helmet home when you ride is a risky proposition. According to a report from the Kentucky Office of Transportation Safety, in 2014, there were 1,275 motorcycle injuries and 76 fatalities in Kentucky.
Of those injured, half (688) of the riders were not wearing helmets, and of those killed (46) 60 percent were not wearing helmets. This is in line with the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration’s study that found that helmets reduce motorcycle rider fatalities by 29 percent and brain injuries by 67 percent.
So, what happens when a cyclist gets a head injury in a collision with a car and isn’t wearing their helmet? Does this affect their claim for compensation? Is this going to impact their ability to get compensation?
Liability for Not Wearing a Helmet
If a motorcycle rider is injured in an accident with a motorist, then the law looks at who was negligent and that person has to pay for the victim’s injuries. So if the driver was negligent, he or she has to pay for the motorcycle rider’s injuries.
However, the motorist might say that the injuries wouldn’t have happened if the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet. This rarely is a reason for denying compensation for the victim, however, in some cases, it might reduce the amount of the award.
Kentucky is a comparative fault state which means that if the victim is deemed to be negligent, then the court can assign percentage negligence to each party, and then the victim will get his compensation reduced by their percentage of negligence.
So, if the cyclist had $10,000 in damages and was found to be 20 percent at fault for not wearing a helmet, then the driver would pay for 80 percent ($8,000) of the cyclist’s medical bills and damages.
If you were injured riding a motorcycle and weren’t wearing a helmet, don’t listen to the insurance company who might tell you that it’s your fault that you got injured because you weren’t wearing a helmet. Rather talk to an attorney who knows the truth about how personal injury law works.
Contact a Louisville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Accident victims often wonder if they need an attorney, and the answer is almost always yes. The insurance company agents have years of experience and are good at their job which is to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the field.
Talk to a Louisville Motorcycle Accident Attorney you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law. The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, by clicking here to contact them online.