If you were hit by a car and injured while riding your motorcycle without a helmet, you still may be able to pursue an Ohio personal injury claim depending on several variables. However, to best determine one’s rights and ability to make a legal recovery, those who were injured in an Ohio motorcycle accident should speak with a Columbus motorcycle accident attorney in a timely manner to discuss their specific facts and circumstances.
Pursuant to Ohio law, motorcyclists and their passenger are required to wear a helmet if the operator is under the age of 18 years old, or if the operator holds a motorcycle operator’s endorsement or license bearing a “novice” designation. For purposes of this article, a “novice” is one who has only had his or her motorcycle endorsement for less than a year. Those who do not fall into either category may ride their motorcycle legally without a helmet. However, due to the high risks of injury that cyclists face due to their exposure, cyclists should be encouraged to wear a helmet for safety reasons.
Aside from the high risks of significant injuries, not wearing a helmet may also affect one’s ability to pursue a personal injury case or make a full recovery for his or her injuries. Under Ohio law, if a jury or judge finds that the injured individual was comparatively at-fault for causing his or her injuries, that person’s legal recovery will be reduced by the overall percentage for which he or she is found to be at-fault. For example, if the injured individual was found to have been 10% at fault and obtains a $100,000.00 jury verdict, his or her recovery would actually be reduced to $90,000.00. Worse yet, if the injured person is found to have been 51% or more at fault, that person cannot make any recovery and will not be able to purse a personal injury claim.
When one is injured in an Ohio motorcycle accident, determining fault and avoiding the anticipated legal defenses associated with not wearing a helmet can be difficult to navigate. One should also anticipate that legal defenses associated with not wearing a helmet will be prevented. For example, if one suffered a traumatic brain injury or spine injury, or worse yet was killed, the defense attorney or insurance company likely will argue that the injuries or death was caused by the decision to not wear a helmet.
Overcoming these arguments, as well as the other defenses that likely will be presented, can be challenging. Having a Columbus personal injury attorney represent you in your personal injury claims can help ensure that those arguments are defeated and that you are fully compensated. At the law office of Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A., our Columbus personal injury attorneys provide expert legal assistance to those who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a motorcycle accident. If you or a family member has been injured on a motorcycle due to a collision or a crash caused by the negligence of a careless driver, our motorcycle accident attorneys in Columbus, Ohio will advocate relentlessly on your behalf to secure the best recovery possible. Please call (614) 221-4035 or click here to send an email to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.