Generally, in Texas, all motorcycle drivers and riders must wear a helmet that meets the Code of Federal Regulation Title 49, Section 571.218, any time they are on the road. The regulation requires that the approved helmets must be in good condition to protect riders and also worn properly. If injured in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, getting compensation might be quite complicated, but certainly not impossible.
Texas laws on motorcycle accident claims
Texas is a “fault” state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. This means the driver who caused the accident (or their insurance company) is responsible for paying for any damages and injuries that result from the accident.
However, Texas also has a law known as the “modified comparative negligence” rule. This rule says that if you are partially at fault for an accident, the court will reduce your compensation by an amount equal to your percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say you get into a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet. If the other driver was speeding and ran a red light, they’ll clearly be at fault for the accident. However, because you were not wearing a helmet, the jury may find that you are 20% at fault for the accident. Hence the compensation you’ll receive will be 20% less.
If the accident occurred between two motorcycle drivers not wearing helmets, Texas law presumes each of them to be 50% at fault for the accident. However, one can challenge this presumption if the other driver was more negligent or reckless, like riding while under the influence of alcohol.
Insurance claims and compensations when not wearing a helmet
If you have insurance, your own policy may cover damages from the accident up to your limit, even if you were not wearing a helmet. In Texas, insurance companies are not allowed to cancel or non-renew your policy just because you were not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident.
If the other driver was at fault for the accident, they should pay for all your damages, including any medical bills and lost wages. If they try to deny your claim or offer a low settlement, you can always appeal or file a lawsuit.