Massachusetts has a universal helmet law that says anyone who operates a motorcycle or rides as a passenger has to wear a helmet. In fact, the helmet has to conform with the state’s minimum standards. Massachusetts’ helmet law also states that anyone operating a motorcycle has a legal obligation to ensure that a passenger is wearing a protective helmet.
Let’s imagine you were not wearing a helmet while you were operating a motorcycle and you were injured when a car hit you. Not only would you have been in violation of the state’s law, but any personal injury claim you make could be affected. This is because the courts in Massachusetts use comparative fault which means that if you were not wearing a helmet you would share some of the fault for your injuries or for the accident itself.
What this means is that if you were trying to claim compensation after your accident the court may assign you a percentage of fault, and this percentage will affect your compensation. If the court finds you 20% at-fault for example, your compensation will be reduced by 20%. So, for example, if you had been wearing a helmet you would have received $20,000. However, your failure to wear a helmet means your compensation is reduced by 20%. this means that you will only receive $16,000.
It’s likely that any personal injury lawyer would have made you aware of this before your case went to court.
Please read our article ‘When you need the Help of a Lawyer’ for more information.
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