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New Jersey Motorcycle Accidents

What Happens If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet at the Time of the Crash?

New Jersey Motorcycle AccidentsUnder New Jersey law, anyone operating a motorcycle on the road in the Garden State, as well as any passengers on a motorcycle, must wear an authorized helmet. The helmet must be the right size and must be properly secured with a neck or chin strap. So what happens if you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you weren’t wearing a helmet? Do you still have a claim for compensation for your injuries?

Failure to Wear a Helmet Does Not Bar Recovery

In New Jersey, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet at the time of a motorcycle accident will not prevent you from seeking and recovering some level of compensation for your injuries. It may, however, reduce or limit the amount that you may recover, based on the principle of comparative negligence in New Jersey.

How Comparative Negligence Will Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

In any personal injury claim in New Jersey, there are essentially two determinations that must be made:

  • The total amount of loss suffered by each party
  • The extent to which each party is responsible for either causing the accident or causing the injuries

Under the comparative negligence approach, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, but were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, the first thing a jury will do is determine the full extent of your losses. Let’s assume, for example, that you were unable to work for some period of time, and had unreimbursed medical expenses, totaling $250,000.

Once the full amount of your losses is calculated, the jury will then determine the extent to which your actions caused your injuries. That will likely include a consideration of whether your injuries would have been as severe if you had been wearing a helmet (as a reasonable person would). If the jury determines that the failure to wear a helmet had no impact on the injuries suffered (you had no head injuries), you may get the full amount of damages. However, if the jury determines that you would not have suffered any head injuries if you’d worn a helmet, you may be barred from recovering for those losses.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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