The state of Nebraska uses a universal motorcycle helmet law that is also used in approximately 20 other states. This law says that anyone who operates or rides as a passenger on a motorcycle has to wear a motorcycle helmet. The law also goes on to say that the helmet must always be secured using the chin strap, and it must have been specifically designed to be used when operating a motorcycle.
When it comes to the design of the motorcycle helmet, Nebraska’s statute says that it should at least meet the guidelines set out by the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, specifically standard 218, 49 C.F.R. 571.218. This means that the helmet should have been designed to protect the wearer from deflecting blows and it should resist penetration. The helmet needs to do both of these things while spreading the force of an impact.
Failing to wear a helmet while you are operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle means you could end up with a traffic citation. However, if you are involved in a traffic accident while you’re not wearing a helmet, any compensation you could receive from the at-fault driver (Assuming it was not you who caused the accident) is likely to be reduced.
This is due to Nebraska courts using a modified comparative negligence rule. This rule is put into place when the injured party is thought to be partly to blame for their injuries. If the jury comes to the conclusion that your head injuries were partly caused by your failure to wear a motorcycle helmet, they will consider you to be negligent for those injuries. Any compensation you would have received will be reduced by the percentage of fault that the jury assigns to you.
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