If you or somebody you love is an avid motorcyclist, then you know there is nothing better than experiencing the freedom of a ride on a beautiful day. Unfortunately, there are times when the careless or negligent actions of other drivers cause significant accidents and injuries occur to motorcyclists. If a motorcyclist is injured in an accident but was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, how will this affect a motorcycle accident claim? At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our motorcycle accident attorneys in Everett want to discuss this scenario.
Helmets are required in Everett
Any motorcycle rider in the state of Washington should already know that helmets are required. While there have been recent proposals to change the blanket motorcycle helmet requirement, no laws have yet been altered. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets reduce the risk of death for motorcyclists by around 37%, and they reduce the risk of serious injury by around 70% in the event a crash occurs.
Can a motorcyclist be held liable for their injuries if they don’t have a helmet on?
In many cases, a motorcyclist is injured due to the careless or negligent actions of other drivers on the roadway. Just like any other traffic accident, insurance carriers will look to determine fault when it comes to paying out compensation.
Many injured motorcyclists, particularly those who sustained head injuries, think that they are not able to recover compensation if they were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. However, the fact that a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet and suffered a head injury does not mean that the victim cannot secure compensation. However, Washington’s comparative fault laws could reduce the amount of compensation a non-helmeted motorcyclist receives.
Under they compare fault laws in Washington, a traffic crash injury victim can recover compensation even if they are as much as 99% at fault for the incident. This means that a motorcyclist can still recover compensation if they were injured but were not wearing a helmet. However, the total amount of compensation they are awarded will be reduced based on their percentage of fault for their injuries.
For example, if a jury determines that another driver was 80% at fault for causing a motorcyclist’s head injury, they may determine that the motorcyclist was 20% at fault for not wearing a helmet. If the motorcyclist is awarded $100,000 in compensation, then they would only receive $80,000 after their amount of fault is factored in.
Contact our Everett motorcycle accident attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, seek legal assistance today. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our skilled and experienced team pledges to investigate your claim so we can secure the compensation you need. This includes:
- All motorcycle crash-related medical bills
- Lost wages if you cannot work while recovering
- Any out-of-pocket household expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages