To the motorcycle enthusiast, no single piece of equipment is more vital than a motorcycle helmet. A helmet is the only protection a rider has against a serious head injury in the event of an accident. In fact, traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, a rider that crashes without a helmet is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal injury. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak with a Missouri personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you contact legal counsel, the better the chances that important evidence will be preserved and your legal rights protected.
In the state of Missouri, Title XIX. Motor Vehicles, Watercraft and Aviation Chapter 302. Section 302.020 sets forth the helmet law. It states that “every person operating or riding as a passenger a motor vehicle, as defined in Section 301.010, RSMo, upon any highway in this state shall wear protective headgear at all times when the vehicle is in motion.” Also, the helmet must meet reasonable standards as established by the Director of Motor Vehicles.
The Missouri helmet law applies to riders regardless of their age. It also was designed to cover all low power motorcycles with an engine displacement of greater than 50 cc, bikes that are able to reach speeds of over 30 mph, or have a brake horsepower of greater than 3.
There are many reasons to wear a helmet, not the least of which is because it is the law, and could save your life. From a legal perspective, it could make a big difference in any potential recovery you could receive in the event of a motorcycle accident. For instance, if you bring a personal injury action for negligence, the opposing motorist may raise the argument that you were guilty of contributory negligence by not wearing a helmet. The opposing party will need to prove that you had a duty to operate your motorcycle in a reasonable manner, and that you breached this duty. This breach must be found to be one of the proximate causes of your injuries. If the opposition is successful in their argument, it could bar your claim or significantly reduce your compensation for the accident.
The Missouri helmet law was created to keep motorcyclists safe out on the road and to lower the number of motorcycle crashes. As a motorcyclist, it is imperative that you put your and your passenger’s safety first. In the event that you are involved in a motorcycle accident, whether it was due to a unsafe lane change, or a rear shunt accident, speak to E. Ryan Bradley for advice. We will provide you with sound legal guidance, and put together an action plan to ensure that your rights are protected, and you get the compensation you deserve.