How does Texas motorcycle accident law work? Do you have to wear a helmet? Find out in this post.
We’ve all done it before. You’re driving along in the city on a routine trip. Could be for work, a run to the grocery store, or a visit to a good old friend of yours.
You swing around the corner, or come to a stop. Or as you’re driving, something blows by you.
At first you missed it, but on second glance you notice a motorcycle. Even if you are a responsible driver, they’re often hard to notice.
In 2012 in Texas, there were 10,391 motorcycle accidents, 59% of which resulted in a serious injury to at least one person. You can guess who usually gets the worse end of the accident!
How Does Motorcycle Accident Law Work?
Well, it’s just like any other kind of personal injury law. You have to prove one party was negligent – careless in their driving behavior. Comparative negligence divides fault between all parties involved in the accident if multiple parties were negligent. In Texas, if you are more than 50% at fault for your injuries, you cannot recover compensation from other individuals.
Design Defects Can Cause Accidents Too
Not all accidents happen because of motorist negligence. They can come about because the designer created the motorcycle in a way that foreseeably could have caused an injury. Or, the manufacturer could have been negligent in the process of building the motorcycle.
Assuming all motorists involved in an accident drove responsibly, you instead file a claim against the manufacturer or designer. In this situation, you have a “products liability” case.
For example, you’ve probably heard about all the trouble Honda’s gotten into in recent years. That’s an example of a products liability suit.
Do You Have to Wear a Helmet in Texas?
In Texas, only motorcycle riders under 21 have to wear helmets. After that, there’s no legal requirement. But, if you think from a common sense perspective, motorcycles don’t come out on the better end in accidents. And drivers aren’t always watching out for them on the roads. Plus, even responsible drivers have a hard time seeing motorcycles.
Texas law also requires you to carry valid health insurance and/or complete a motorcycle safety course. Police cannot pull you over to check specifically for these documents. However, they can stop you for other reasons and request these.
If you don’t wear a helmet and you’re injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s negligence, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. However, that amount may be reduced because you didn’t wear a helmet.
Stay Safe Out There!
No one plans on getting into an accident. And you can’t control how other motorists drive.
Yes, motorcycles are for tough, rugged, independent people. But, do yourself a favor, wear a helmet, and drive cautiously to protect your safety.