In a Fort Worth, TX, collision, motorcycles provide almost no protection to the rider. It’s for this reason that helmets are legally required in most states, including Texas. Although Texas places a high value on personal responsibility, helmet laws are meant to save lives in motorcycle accidents.
Learn more about Texas’s motorcycle helmet laws and how wearing a helmet may affect your injury compensation after a motorcycle accident.
How Anderson Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Fort Worth
Anderson Injury Lawyers has been helping accident victims in Fort Worth, Texas, since 2007. The firm’s personal injury attorneys have several decades of experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in injury compensation.
Some awards and honors earned by the firm’s Fort Worth motorcycle accident lawyers include:
- Board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- AV Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell
- 10.0 Superb rating by Avvo
And some ways the firm can assist you with your motorcycle accident case include:
- Hiring experts to analyze your case and help determine the extent of your losses
- Negotiating with the defendant to reach a fair settlement agreement
- Bringing your case to court if the situation demands
Contact Anderson Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss how you can pursue compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries.
How Common Are Helmet Laws in the United States?
Every state in the country except Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire has a motorcycle helmet law. In keeping with the majority, Texas’s law requires some — but not all — riders to wear a helmet.
States pass helmet laws because they work. Helmets reduce the chances of death by 37% for operators and 41% for passengers. They also reduce the odds of a head injury by 67%.
Overview of Helmet Laws in Texas
Texas has a universal helmet law, but with one notable exception that makes the law difficult to enforce. Texas’s law states that a motorcycle operator or passenger breaks the law if they fail to wear protective headgear.
But this law has a caveat: An operator or passenger does not need to wear a helmet if the person is at least 21 years old and has either completed a motorcycle safety course or has health insurance to cover the cost of an injury.
This exception nearly makes the law moot. All motorcyclists must pass a safety course before getting a Texas motorcycle license, so riders 21 or older with a valid license will fall into this exception.
As a result, enforcing this law is particularly inconvenient. For passengers, police officers do not want to waste time during a traffic stop to verify someone’s health insurance, and it can often be difficult to estimate someone’s age at a distance. As such, police officers will often limit their enforcement to riders who allow their children to ride as passengers without a helmet.
Reasons To Wear a Helmet
Even if you fall into the exception, it’s still a good idea to wear a helmet for two reasons:
Risk of Injury
According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s Crash Records Information System (CRIS), Fort Worth had 316 motorcycle accidents in 2021. Of these, 265 crashes caused an injury or death. This means Fort Worth motorcycle accidents had an 84% chance of causing an injury or death.
In these accidents:
- 76 motorcyclists or passengers were not wearing helmets
- 122 motorcyclists or passengers were wearing helmets
- 146 accidents had unknown helmet use
For those who did not wear a helmet:
- 6.9% suffered a fatal injury
- 30.6% suffered a serious injury
- 29.2% suffered a minor injury
- 20.8% suffered a suspected injury
- 12.5% suffered no injury
For those who wore a helmet:
- 6.5% suffered a fatal injury
- 22.1% suffered a serious injury
- 29.5% suffered a minor injury
- 19.7% suffered a suspected injury
- 22.1% suffered no injury
As you can see, riders with helmets suffer fewer fatalities and serious injuries than those without helmets. But the biggest difference comes from those who walk away unharmed. Helmeted riders are almost twice as likely to suffer no injuries in an accident as unhelmeted riders.
Liability for Unhelmeted Motorcycle Crashes
Texas uses a theory of comparative negligence to allocate fault after an accident, where a claims adjuster or jury will assign fault to each person who played a role in the injuries. For example, if you suffered a head injury while riding without a helmet, you may share in the blame for your losses.
If you get assigned a portion of the fault, your compensation is reduced in proportion to your share of the blame. Thus, if you bear 30% of the fault for your injuries, you can only get compensation for 70% of your losses. Under Texas law, if your share of the fault is 51% or more, you receive nothing.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
You can get injured in an accident even if you wear a helmet. When you suffer an injury in a motorcycle crash in Fort Worth, contact Anderson Injury Lawyers at (817) 294-1900 for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you might receive. An experienced Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorney is standing by to take your call.