Whether you are using a motorcycle for leisure or transport, there are certain safety regulations you must adhere to. These regulations are meant to protect you and your passenger (if any) as well as other road users in the unfortunate event of an accident. An important example of such regulations are laws governing the use of helmets when using a motorcycle. If you’re ever involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another’s negligence, the first step towards a redress would be to hire a Philadelphia accident attorney.
If you’ve sustained any form of injury, you’ll likely want compensation for those injuries. While the law will likely guarantee some form of compensation, whether or not you get compensated and the value of your compensation will greatly be influenced by your adherence to safety regulations.
In the city of Philadelphia, based on state laws, your success in legal claims for damages will depend on your compliance with the motorcycle helmet laws. However, unlike most cities that are governed by universal helmet laws, Philadelphia is subjected to the statewide motorcycle helmet laws of the state of Pennsylvania. This law stipulates not just the need to use a crash helmet but also the type and at what age ranges users are required to.
While other state’s laws mandate the use of helmets for both the driver and the passenger irrespective of the individual’s age or experience, Pennsylvania’s laws give leeway to people of certain age ranges.
THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS DO NOT HAVE TO WEAR HELMETS:
A person operating a three-wheel motorcycle that has an enclosed cab
A person who is 21 years or older who have successfully completed a motorcycle rider safety course.
A person who has had a motorcycle license for at least two years and is 21 years or older
However, even when you might be legally exempted from using motorcycle helmets, to have a stronger case for compensation, it will help if you used a motorcycle helmet when an accident happened. Sure, the law gives you the freedom of choosing whether or not to use a helmet, but it will still penalize you if chose not to.
WHO IS AT FAULT
In a scenario where a motorcycle rider collides with another vehicle leading to injuries of any kind to the rider, negligence might be harder to establish against either party. If the other vehicle’s driver ran a red light thereby leading to the accident that caused the injuries, the rider might have a stronger claim of legal fault against the driver. This would mean that the driver is liable for the injuries sustained by the rider and may be legally required to compensate the rider.
However, things could get a little tricky. If the other vehicle’s driver proves that the rider failed to use a helmet, it might mean that the blame goes to both of them. This could strongly impact the rider’s ability to get compensation. However, it is not hopeless just yet.
Hopefully, at this point, both individuals are each 50% at fault. Legally, as an injured victim, to be able to get compensation in a legal claim, you need to be at most 50% at fault or less. Since you’re both 50% at fault, it means you still have a case, it may be a little less stronger, but you still have a case.
In addition to not wearing a helmet, if the rider was not up to the legal exemption age of 21 years or didn’t have a motorcycle license for at least two years, the balance may be tipped against the rider. Here, the decision of who’s more at fault is likely left to the jury. If the jury does the math and considers the rider to be more at fault, it means the rider may not be able to recover damages. Nonetheless, things aren’t usually as simple as it appears. To determine who’s at fault and to what degree, the jury will likely take into consideration a lot of factors.
In the same vein, the severity of injuries sustained in an accident will also have a huge impact on the victim’s ability to recover damages. If the injured victim suffers serious head trauma due to the person’s failure to use a motorcycle helmet, the at-fault party may try to establish that it would be less severe if the were using a helmet for head protection. This usually plays a huge role in determining the validity of a damage claim.
Even when using a helmet, to be considered to have used an approved helmet, it must meet the minimum design and performance requirements stipulated by Pennsylvania laws. According to the law, helmets used by motorcyclists should meet the standards approved by the united states department of transportation. The law also lays down stipulations on how the helmets should be labeled. This stipulates that the helmet must be permanently labeled with the name or identification of the manufacturer, precise model designation, date of manufacture and the “DOT” sticker to indicate that it meets the standards of the department of transportation.
Getting compensation for injuries during a motorcycle accident within Philadelphia could be quite simple or intensely complex depending on your unique situation. It’s important to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process. But perhaps even more important is adhering to the state’s motorcycle helmet laws.
Even when you are legally exempt from mandatory usage of helmets, failure to use a helmet might turn out to be your greatest undoing while trying to get compensation for injuries you may sustain while riding a motorcycle. In some cases, the value of compensation might be reduced, but in some, you might lose your right to compensation.
Compensations for injuries sustained while riding a motorcycle could range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands depending on the severity of the injury. Getting an experienced lawyer to handle your case is the key to getting a befitting compensation for damages you incur during a motorcycle accident.