Many motorcyclists are unaware of their state’s helmet laws until after they’ve been injured in an accident. If you want to sue for damages after an accident, it’s essential to know and abide by your state’s motorcycle helmet laws. In Maryland, that can mean the difference between receiving compensation and not.
In Maryland, motorcyclists are required to wear approved helmets while operating their motorcycles. Because motorcycles offer little protection to drivers, helmets are required to help prevent head injuries should an accident occur.
According to M. Code. Transp. Art. § 21-1306, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet approved by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Suppose you were not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident caused by a negligent driver. In that case, it could affect your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our team is dedicated to helping motorcycle accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Our Maryland motorcycle accident and injury lawyers prioritize our clients’ interests and aim to surpass their expectations for a free consultation; call (410) 694-7291.
Do Motorcycle Riders Need to Wear a Helmet in Maryland?
It’s important to remember that each state has different laws regarding helmets for motorcyclists. Depending on your state, you could be unable to file charges if you were not wearing a helmet while operating your motorcycle and were injured in an accident.
While most states require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, failure to do so might not affect a potential lawsuit. However, that’s not the case in Maryland.
Today, there are a few states that use “contributory negligence” laws. Maryland is one of them. That means that if an injury victim is found at all negligent, they can’t collect damages.
Because motorcycle helmet laws in Maryland are strict, failing to wear one is considered a civil breach. That means it constitutes negligence.
In contributory negligence states, if a person is even partially at fault for injuries, they can’t sue for damages. Just wearing a helmet might be enough to count as negligence.
You could also lose your right to sue if you did not wear a helmet approved by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.
That’s why it’s vital to follow Maryland’s motorcycle helmet laws. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists may be unaware of these laws until they are injured in an accident.
Motorcyclists should always wear an approved helmet while operating their motorcycles so that they can collect compensation for injuries sustained in an accident.
Wearing the proper headgear also helps protect you from head injuries should you be involved in an accident.
What Are Approved and Unapproved Motorcycle Helmets in Maryland?
Motorcyclists wear helmets to stay safe while they operate their vehicles. Because head injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents can be severe, it’s essential to wear protective gear while riding.
In Maryland, there are specific qualities that a helmet must have to be approved by the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration.
For your motorcycle helmet to be approved in Maryland, it must have four key features. Your helmet must have an outer shell, a shock-absorbing liner, a comfort liner, and a retention system (also known as a chin strap).
The materials that constitute an approved helmet are specific but allow for some leeway. For example, the outer shell can be made from multiple materials, from carbon fiber to thermoplastic.
The purpose of these four features is to ensure comfortability while riding and protection in case of an accident.
An ill-fitting or second-hand helmet is not advised for motorcyclists by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. If your helmet doesn’t fit correctly, it might not adequately protect you in the event of an accident.
Helmets without a retention system or chin strap are also unapproved. Motorcycle helmets aren’t meant to be stylish but to protect your head in case of a collision.
If you’re unsure whether your motorcycle helmet meets the standards of Maryland’s laws, check your helmet for a Department of Transportation, or “DOT,” label.
Manufacturers in Maryland will label approved helmets so that motorcyclists can quickly identify the proper headgear.
Motorcycle Safety Laws in Maryland
Suppose you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident while wearing an approved helmet. If that’s the case, you can likely sue for compensation.
However, in addition to Maryland’s motorcycle helmet laws, there are other regulations that motorcyclists should be aware of.
In Maryland, all motorcycles should be equipped with an approved windscreen. If they’re not, operators must wear protective goggles. It’s important to abide by these rules while operating a motorcycle in the state of Maryland. Not only can ignoring these laws cause collisions, but it can threaten your ability to file charges.
Maryland is a fault state, meaning that a negligent party can be held responsible for covering a victim’s medical bills. Unlike no-fault states, auto accidents in Maryland can be blamed on the responsible driver.
You might have to file a personal injury lawsuit to get financial support for medical expenses following motorcycle accidents in Maryland. Remember, if you are even 1% to blame for your injuries, Maryland’s contributory negligence laws can prevent you from seeking damages.
Because of that, it’s crucial always to wear an approved helmet and abide by state laws when operating a motorcycle in Maryland.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations to bring civil action is three years. Because Maryland is a fault state, suing might be your best route to compensation.
If You Were Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Maryland, Our Attorneys Can Help
Following a motorcycle accident, it’s helpful to have skilled lawyers in your corner. For a free consultation, call the Baltimore motorcycle injury attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.