Can I File A Motorcycle Accident Claim In Texas If I Wasn’t Wearing A Helmet?

Here at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, we are no strangers to the risks that come with riding. However, there are numerous precautions one can take to ensure they are safe as they endure the potential risks of the road. One of the simplest things a motorcyclist can do to help ensure their safety is to wear a helmet.

The NHTSA estimates that for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing helmets, 37 of them could have been saved had they worn a helmet.

In this article, we will break down Texas motorcycle helmet laws, in addition to what measures to take if you were involved in a motorcycle accident where you were not wearing a helmet.

Am I Required to Wear A Helmet?

While some states require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Texas has not passed the “universal” helmet law that is present in many states, which requires anyone riding a motorcycle to wear a helmet. In Texas, whether you have to wear a helmet depends on your age.

If you are under the age of 21, you must wear a helmet in Texas whether you are operating a motorcycle or just riding on one as a passenger, or if you are over 21 and you don’t meet one of the two exceptions outlined below.

You are not required to wear a motorcycle helmet in Texas if you are at least 21 years of age and:

  1. You have successfully completed an approved motorcycle operator training and safety course.
  2. You are covered by a health insurance plan that provides medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a motorcycle accident.

To see the full text of Texas’s motorcycle helmet law, visit here: Texas Transportation Code section 661.001.

Am I Liable If I Fail To Wear A Helmet?

It’s critical to note that you can be liable for a violation of Texas’s motorcycle helmet law in a few ways. First, you’re evidently liable if you’re not wearing a helmet when the law requires you to wear one, as noted above. Additionally, you can disobey the law by operating a motorcycle in which a passenger isn’t in compliance with the law. In this situation, both you and the passenger could be given citations.

If you do not have the requisite insurance coverage, you will likely receive a citation in excess of $300 for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility. For each subsequent violation, penalties include higher fines, points against your license, and possible suspension of your motorcycle license and registration.

Can I File A Claim If I Am Involved In A Motorcycle Accident?

What happens if you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Texas in which you believe the other driver was responsible? In this case, you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. However, let’s add the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet, and are seeking compensation for head injuries. In this situation, a Texas civil jury would likely decide that your failure to wear a helmet amounted to negligence, meaning that you share some level of fault for your injuries. Therefore resulting in any compensation you receive is reduced by a percentage that is equal to your percentage share of fault, according to Texas’s Modified Comparative Negligence rule in personal injury cases. However, if your share is 50% or greater, your claim fails.

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Our Carrollton Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a qualified motorcycle accident attorney to seek advice on what your next steps should be. Members of our team have ridden motorcycles for the majority of their adult lives and have vast knowledge of how to properly handle your motorcycle accident claim to ensure you receive proper compensation for any damage that has occurred.

Reach out to our offices today for your free case evaluation.