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Do I Really Need to Wear a Helmet?

Do I Really Need to Wear a Helmet?
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Every year, roads witness countless stories, some with fortunate endings and others that end in tragedy.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets saved the lives of 1,859 motorcyclists in one year alone. This powerful testament to safety raises the question for riders everywhere: “Do I really need to wear a helmet?”

Our Texas injury attorney at Patterson Law Group is here to explain the importance of helmets, helmet laws in the Lone Star State, and their undeniable impact on personal injury claims in the event of an accident.

The Importance of Wearing a Helmet

Consider a helmet as an additional safeguard against life-altering injuries. Research demonstrates that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 69% and fatalities by 37% for motorcyclists.

Helmets function by absorbing impact energy, distributing the force of collisions, and preventing debris penetration. They are meticulously designed to protect the brain, the command center of our body.

A helmet typically consists of a hard outer shell of durable materials like polycarbonate or fiberglass and an inner lining of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. The outer shell disperses the impact across a broader area, while the EPS foam absorbs the energy to minimize the force transmitted to the skull.

Additionally, modern helmets often feature advanced technologies like Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) to further enhance safety. Given the critical importance of protecting our heads, investing in a high-quality helmet is a small price to pay for the potentially life-saving benefits it provides.

Common Head Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents without Helmets

Motorcycle accidents without helmets can lead to severe head injuries, including a wide range of serious conditions.

  • Concussions: A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is a result of a blow to the head. Symptoms can include dizziness, confusion, headaches, and even loss of consciousness. While some concussions are mild, others can have lasting effects on cognitive function.
  • Skull fractures: Skull fractures occur when the skull is cracked or broken, leading to bleeding or swelling in the brain. Depending on the severity, skull fractures can require surgery and extensive rehabilitation to recover.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: These are among the most severe outcomes and can result in significant and permanent impairment. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can affect speech, memory, motor skills, and emotional regulation. In the worst cases, they can lead to coma or even death.

These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and can result in long-term or permanent disability. The impact on a victim’s life can be profound, affecting their ability to work, engage in daily activities, and maintain relationships.

Ensuring proper helmet use is crucial for protecting motorcyclists from these devastating consequences and can significantly reduce the risk of severe head injuries. Prioritizing safety measures, such as wearing a helmet, can save lives and prevent debilitating injuries from motorcycle accidents.

Legal Requirements for Helmets in Texas

Texas Helmet Laws

According to Texas laws, riders under 21 must wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle, while those over 21 can forego a helmet if they can prove they have completed a safety course or are covered by a health insurance plan.

Bicyclists, too, must adhere to local ordinances that may mandate the use of helmets, especially for younger riders. Understanding these laws ensures legal compliance and a commitment to personal well-being.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Choosing the wind in your hair over helmeted security comes at a cost. While not overly stringent, the penalties for not wearing a helmet emphasize the state’s stance toward safety. The real price of non-compliance, however, is potentially much greater than any fine—it’s the risk to your life.

Impact on Personal Injuries Claims

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Texas and you are not wearing a helmet, it may affect your personal injury claim in a variety of ways.

Helmet Use and Negligence

In Texas, comparative negligence rules apply to personal injury claims. This means if you weren’t wearing a helmet during an accident, even if the other party is at fault, your compensation could be reduced if you’re found to be partially responsible for your injuries.

The percentage of fault attributed to you can directly affect the amount you receive, potentially lowering your compensation significantly.

Effect on Compensation

Your compensation claim might take a hit if you sustain injuries in an accident without wearing a helmet. Insurance adjusters may argue that your injuries could have been mitigated with proper protection, impacting your settlement offer.

For instance, if you suffer a head injury and are not wearing a helmet, the insurance company might contend that the severity of your injury is partly your responsibility, reducing your settlement accordingly.

Scenarios like these make having a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in Arlington advocating for your rights invaluable. An experienced Texas injury attorney knows the ins and outs of these laws and can provide sound legal advice on navigating the specifics of your injury claim.

They can help gather the necessary evidence to demonstrate the other party’s fault, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve despite the complexities of comparative negligence. The guidance of a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in Arlington can be crucial to achieving a favorable outcome in your case.

Contact Our Texas Injury Attorney Today

Choosing to wear a helmet isn’t merely a formality. It is a critical decision that can save lives on the road.

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered injuries, you must act quickly to protect your rights. Contact our motorcycle accident lawyer in Arlington as soon as possible for a free consultation.

Our team at Patterson Law Group can help you understand your legal options and ensure your entitlement to fair compensation is protected.

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