Can You Recover For Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident Even If You Didn’t Wear A Helmet In Texas?
In the state of Texas, unless you are under the age of 21, you are not required by law to wear a helmet, so long as you have passed the required safety course and are covered by insurance. This does not, however, stop insurance companies from asking whether you were wearing a helmet when investigating an accident claim.
And if you weren’t wearing a helmet, this may still cause your claim to be rejected, legal or not. Is this fair? Not at all. You may want to consider hiring a lawyer to represent you in the event this does occur. A Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer who is well versed on the laws involving motorcycle crash injury compensation can fight back against an unfair rejection of your claim.
Wearing a Helmet vs. Not Wearing a Helmet
Sometimes, in an accident involving a motorcycle, whether you were wearing a helmet at the time truly doesn’t matter. These times can be boiled down to whether you suffered a head injury or not. If you weren’t wearing a helmet and you suffered a leg injury, for example, this is very different than trying to collect for damages when you did, in fact, suffer a head injury.
If the case goes to court, and the other party can prove that you would not have suffered the injury you suffered – or at least to the extent that you suffered it – if you were wearing a helmet, then there is a good chance you will lose. Essentially, while there is no law expressly preventing you from driving without a helmet, you risk an injury that will potentially be your sole responsibility as a consequence of choosing to ride without one.
Your insurance company is likely to give you a hard time, too, if you suffered a head injury while riding without a helmet. Not only will your claim be rejected, but you may also suffer an increased premium as the result of being a “riskier” driver for choosing to drive without a helmet.
Damages in a Case Involving a Motorcycle Accident
If you are able to prove that the accident was, in fact, the result of the other driver’s negligence, then the question of damages must be answered. What type of damages should be paid, and how much?
In the state of Texas, there are two kinds of damages that can be recovered:
These are damages that are the direct result of an injury and/or property damage. Here is where you would recover for lost earnings or out-of-pocket medical expenses. Special damages are easy to prove, since they generally involve providing receipts for things like medical care and the replacement or reconstruction of property.
These are the vaguer of the two types of damages. Here, you would collect damages for things like pain and suffering, or mental anguish. General damages are harder to prove. For these, you must be able to show the negative impacts the accident has had on your life. For instance, if you have been so traumatized by the incident that you’re afraid to ride a motorcycle ever again, you may be able to show a receipt proving you sold your bike to support your claim.
Amount of Damages Awarded
The amount of damages you will ultimately be awarded depends on a number of different factors, including:
- The severity of your injury
- Lost time from work without pay
- Whether you were able to recover from your injuries, or if you are now in chronic pain
The good news is that there are no damage caps (legal limits) on the amount of damages you can collect on a motorcycle accident in the state of Texas. The bad news is that if you were not wearing a helmet, the amount of damages you collect can be significantly less than if you were wearing a helmet. In this case, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you fight for the best possible outcome.
Recovering Damages for a Motorcycle Accident in the State of Texas
When trying to recover for damages after a motorcycle accident in the state of Texas, you’re likely to face discrimination if you chose to ride without a helmet. This is true in spite of the fact that there are no laws saying that you must ride a motorcycle while wearing a helmet in the state of Texas.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and you were not wearing a helmet, you may want to consider contacting a Dallas car accident lawyer to help you with your case. You may especially want to consult with a lawyer if you suffered a head injury, and the other party was at fault. But you must do so in a timely fashion.
Texas law states that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file suit, else your statute of limitations runs out. A lawyer can use his knowledge of the law to fight for you and get you the best possible outcome. Contact us today to get started.