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What if I did not wear a helmet in my motorcycle crash?

The state of Connecticut requires motorcyclists to wear an approved helmet by law. This means that motorcyclists can be ticketed if they are found in violation of helmet laws. It also means that motorcyclists could lose certain rights in personal injury claims stemming from motorcycle accident injuries that happened while they were not wearing a helmet.

That said, it is important to stress that helmet-less motorcyclists will not lose all of their rights to recover personal injury damages following a crash. Indeed, if the motorcyclist can prove that his or her failure to wear a helmet did not result in more severe injuries, then the motorcyclist will still have the right to seek the full amount of damages against the at-fault party or parties. On the other hand, if the defendant can show that the injuries were made worse due to not wearing a helmet, then an at-fault defendant might only be liable for a reduced amount of damages.

In a general sense, the courts will strive to assign fault or blame for injuries partly to the motorcyclist who failed to wear his or her helmet, and partly to the party that caused the crash. This is referred to as contributory negligence because the motorcyclist will be seen as a "contributor" to his or her injuries. However, in contributory negligence, there is a distinction between negligence that contributed to the cause of an accident and negligence that contributed to the injuries.

At the end of the day, Connecticut motorcyclists should prepare well for litigation if they are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit after being hurt in a crash when they were not wearing a helmet. Legal solutions exist for many different scenarios, but motorcyclists should be aware that failure to wear a helmet could serve to lessen the amount of financial compensation that he or she could be entitled to receive.

Source: FindLaw, "Helmet Laws and Motorcycle Accident Cases," accessed June 09, 2016

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