Your helmet may be the most important piece of safety gear you own. After all, if you wear a helmet when you ride, your odds of dying in an accident may drop by 37%. Your chances of sustaining a debilitating head injury also may decrease by nearly 70%.
If you suffered an injury in a collision on your motorcycle when you were not wearing your helmet, you may wonder if you can even file a claim. You may also wonder what effect not wearing a helmet may have on the outcome of your injury case.
Your right to pursue compensation
All motorists on Ohio roads have a duty to drive reasonably. If someone breaches this duty and causes you to suffer an injury, you have a right to pursue financial compensation. Consequently, you should not let the fact that you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident dissuade you from exploring your legal options.
Ohio’s comparative negligence approach
The Buckeye State has a comparative negligence law. Pursuant to this law, you can recover financial compensation for your damages as long as you were not mostly to blame for them. That is, provided you are less than 51% responsible for your injuries, you can proceed with an accident claim.
Your reduced compensation
If your injuries are partially due to your failure to wear a helmet, you may receive reduced financial compensation. The amount of the reduction should match your percentage of fault. For example, if you have $100,000 in damages and your actions caused 20% of them, you are likely only to receive $80,000.
Recovering from a catastrophic injury can be expensive. Ultimately, whether you were hearing a helmet at the time of the accident, proceeding with your injury claim may give you the financial compensation you need to recover completely.