Can My Motorcycle Accident Claim Be Reduced if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?

James Oronoz

Motorcycle riders in Nevada love exploring the state’s natural beauty on their bikes but riding without a helmet poses a dangerous risk if an accident occurs. If you’re in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage — but if you weren’t wearing a helmet, your claim could be affected.

Nevada Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Helmets save lives and are required by law in Nevada. The state requires all motorcycle riders to wear helmets that meet the U.S. Department of Transportation standards — the only exception where riders don’t have to wear helmets is in three-wheeled vehicles with an enclosed cab equipped with a steering wheel rather than handlebars.

If the motorcycle doesn’t have a windscreen, riders also must wear other protective gear such as goggles or a face shield.

In Las Vegas, riding a motorcycle without a helmet or other safety gear is a misdemeanor and carries a fine of just over $200.

Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents

Like all vehicle owners in Nevada, motorcyclists must carry liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage in an accident. The state follows comparative negligence law, which dictates how fault is determined in an accident. An insurer, judge, or jury will look at the circumstances of the crash and assign each party a percentage of fault.

If you are less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can recover compensation for your damages. However, your settlement or award will be reduced proportionately to your percentage of fault.

How Wearing a Helmet Affects Your Motorcycle Accident Claim in Nevada

All drivers on the road have a duty to act reasonably and avoid injuring others by following traffic laws. Motorcyclists have a  greater risk of injury or death when they ride without a helmet, drive on the wrong side of the road, or fail to yield or share their lane as they should.

If you’re in an accident and didn’t wear a helmet, the insurance company will assign you a more significant portion of fault for disregarding the law. They might claim you wouldn’t have suffered a head injury if you had been wearing a helmet and try to reduce your payout accordingly. You will be able to recover compensation if less than half of the accident is found to be your fault, but skipping the use of a helmet can lessen the value of your claim.

Nevada Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to recent data from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, nearly 300 fatal motorcycle crashes occurred between 2015 and 2019, accounting for almost 20% of the state’s total traffic fatalities. Three percent of the fatal motorcycle crashes involved drivers who weren’t wearing helmets.

Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident? Call O&E Injury Lawyers

No matter the circumstances of your motorcycle accident, Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers will advocate on your behalf to help you get the compensation you need for your injuries and damages. We have years of experience helping dozens of motorcycle accident victims obtain the financial relief they need.

To learn more about how Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers can help after a motorcycle crash in Nevada, use our online form or call (702) 935-1762.

Recommended Posts