Motorcycles have long been symbols of fun but risky behavior in the United States. In the past couple of decades, it has become more and more common to wear protective equipment while driving a motorcycle on Maryland roadways. However, some individuals still opt to take their chopper out on the road without a helmet. Most of the time, these people go about their day with no issues at all. However, injuries are often worse without a helmet, and you might be worried that this could affect a potential accident claim.
Maryland law requires that all motorcyclists wear helmets. However, there are a number of circumstances that make it so that the fact that you did not wear a helmet is not relevant to the case or cannot be brought up in court. Unless the lawsuit is directly related to the performance of a motorcycle helmet in an accident, the helmet itself is not relevant to the claim. You should not be dissuaded from contacting our lawyers just because you feel a lack of a helmet prevents you from recovering damages.
Call our Maryland motorcycle accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Maryland
Md. Code, Transp. Art., § 21-1306 governs motorcycle helmet use in the state. Maryland law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets while riding their motorcycles, but our Aberdeen motorcycle accident attorneys will work hard to make sure that a lack of protective headgear is not a central issue in your case. You may think that violating this law means head injuries are your own fault, but that is not the case. You still have a chance of being successful in court even if you were not wearing a helmet when the accident happened.
Failure to Wear Protective Headgear as Negligence
Section 21-1306(e) makes it so that failure to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle cannot be offered as evidence of negligence or contributory negligence in a lawsuit. This is especially important in a contributory negligence state like Maryland. Contributory negligence means that if any portion of the accident is found to be your fault, you will not be able to recover damages in court. Without this law, anyone who did not wear a helmet on a motorcycle would be unable to win a personal injury claim. Fortunately, that is not the case.
References to Protective Headgear During Trial
Section 21-1306(e)(1) makes it so that, In most circumstances, lack of head protection cannot be brought up at all in court. If the damages sought in court are not related to the supply, design, manufacture, or repair of protective headgear, the absence or presence of protective headgear cannot be brought up in the lawsuit at all. In effect, the only time a helmet can be brought up in a motorcycle accident lawsuit is when the plaintiff is suing the helmet manufacturer.
No Diminished Damages from Lack of Protective Headgear
The fact that you did not wear a helmet cannot be used to diminish the damages you are awarded per § 21-1306(e)(1)(iv). This is the law in Maryland, so opposing counsel should know this. If they try and bring it up anyway, we are ready to take them to task for their transgressions.
Damages You Can Recover in a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Whether you were wearing a helmet or not does not impact your ability to recover damages if successful in court. Our lawyers will work to put your case in the best light possible before the court to try and get you the largest damages award possible. Damages are calculated based on your injuries in an accident as well as factors like mental anguish or pain and suffering. Below are some of the things that could factor into damages in a successful motorcycle accident claim.
Medical Bills and Expenses
Medical expenses often comprise the bulk of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits. The reality is that the cost of treatment for injuries can very quickly escalate out of control. Surgeries, physical therapy, hospital stays, and repeat visits can all add up and cost a great deal of money. If you are successful in your motorcycle accident lawsuit, you could be awarded damages based on those expenses as well as predicted future medical expenses if the injury is a persistent one.
Lost Earning Potential and Lost Wages
Courts allow plaintiffs to recover damages for lost income due to injuries. If you can no longer work because of your injuries or had to take a lesser-paying job because of your injuries, that could factor into your damages. Additionally, if you had to take time off of work to recover from your injuries, you could be compensated for the time you could have been earning money at your job but instead were recovering from injuries.
Lost Enjoyment of Life
The inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed could factor into the damages you are awarded in court. For example, if your injuries from a motorcycle accident make it so you can no longer ride motorcycles, the court can take that into account and award damages accordingly. Damages in a personal injury lawsuit are meant to try and put the plaintiff in as close a position as possible to where they were prior to their accident. If the plaintiff can no longer do things they could before the accident, damages are a way to try and “make them whole” again.
Call Our Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
Talk to our Ocean City, MD motorcycle accident lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 today for free.