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What if I wasn't wearing a helmet in my motorcycle crash?

Let's say you needed to make a quick run to the convenience store. Since it was just around the corner, you hopped on your motorcycle and didn't bother putting on a helmet. Sure, the law requires you to wear one, but you didn't think it would be a problem.

Unfortunately, it was a problem - and a colossal one. When you were turning the corner into the convenience store parking lot, a pickup truck driver plowed into the back of you. It's clear that the accident is the pickup truck driver's fault. He was texting-while-driving, and the police report indicates he was distracted by his cellphone.

The thing is, you weren't wearing your helmet and you suffered a serious head injury. Can you still sue for personal injury damages?

Personal injury cases for un-helmeted motorcyclists

According to Pennsylvania Law, motorcycle riders must wear helmets unless he or she has been operating a motorcycle for at least two years and is over the age of 21, or has finished a PennDOT-approved motorcycle safety class. If you were exempt from wearing a helmet, then your failure to don one probably will not hurt your personal injury case.

However, if you weren't exempt from wearing a helmet, then it could negatively affect your personal injury claim for damages, but not in all situations. If you suffered a head injury that could have been prevented (or lessened) by following the law and wearing a helmet - and if you were legally required to wear a helmet - then a Pennsylvania court may rule that you are partially to blame for your injuries. In this situation, the court may choose to divide the liability for your injuries between you and the at-fault driver who caused the crash.

On the other hand, if you did not suffer a head injury - or an injury that could have been prevented or lessened by wearing a helmet - then your failure to don a helmet will not likely hurt your personal injury case.

Were you hurt in a motorcycle crash?

A motorcycle accident case is different from the typical car accident scenario. Different facts and circumstances may play a crucial role in the motorcyclist's ability to seek financial recovery from the at-fault parties in the incident. For this reason, any motorcyclist injured in an auto crash will want to discuss the details of his or her case with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.

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