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Can I Recover Compensation for a Motorcycle Crash if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Knoxville motorcycle crash lawyerIt is well-known that motorcycles can be a bit dangerous. When you get into a crash in a car, you have some level of protection from the vehicle. When you get into a crash on a motorcycle, your body takes the brunt of the collision. This is why serious head, neck, and spinal injuries are common. Careless drivers are often to blame for motorcycle crashes, but the motorcyclist’s failure to wear a helmet may be partly to blame for the severity of his injuries. Even if it is clear that a driver’s negligence caused the crash, whether the driver is responsible for the full extent of a biker’s injuries is a separate issue. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you begin working with a licensed personal injury attorney to maximize your chances of recovering full compensation. 

What is Comparative Negligence? 

In Tennessee, the comparative negligence rule states that you must have been less than 50% responsible for your injuries in order to recover any damages from the negligent party who injured you. So, to prevail on a negligence claim you must prove that the driver who injured you was at least 50% to blame for the extent of your injuries. Unfortunately, if the court finds that your injuries are at least half your fault, you will not be able to recover. 

This will be a very fact-intensive legal analysis best handled by an experienced lawyer. If you were not wearing your helmet and suffered a head injury, the court will want to know whether your head injury would have been less severe or prevented entirely if you had worn a helmet. On the other hand, if you suffered an abdominal or leg injury, whether or not you were wearing a helmet is probably not relevant. 

The good news is that if you were partially to blame, but not more than 50% to blame, you can still recover. However, the amount you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if the court awards you $10,000 but finds that you were 10% to blame for your injuries, you would receive $9,000 because your award would be reduced by 10%. 

Call a Knoxville Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer

Do not assume that you will not be able to recover compensation just because you forgot to wear your helmet. The experienced and capable Knoxville motorcycle accidents attorneys at The Law Office of William F. Evans are dedicated to pursuing claims for bikers hurt by careless drivers. Call us at 423-449-7980 to schedule a free consultation. 



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