New Jersey’s motorcycle helmet law states that anyone who is operating a motorcycle or traveling on one as a passenger must wear a helmet. The law further goes on to say that a motorcycle must not be used unless the operator has a properly sized helmet that is securely fitted. The helmet must also be approved, have a chin or neck strap and must have reflectors on both sides.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you are not wearing a helmet, your traffic citation will not be the only thing you have to worry about. This is the case if you wish to make a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver who hit you. This is because New Jersey uses a comparative negligence rule. This rule is brought into effect when the injured party is also considered to be negligent, in that they were not wearing a helmet.
The jury may decide that you were partly responsible for your injuries because you failed to wear a helmet. If this is the case, any settlement that you would have received will be reduced by the percentage of fault that the jury assigns to you.
Let’s imagine that David was riding his motorcycle and he was not wearing a helmet. Raymond was speeding and did not see David come onto the highway. Raymond hit David, causing him to fall off his motorcycle and sustain a few injuries. As David was not wearing a helmet, the jury could say that he was 20% responsible for his injuries, for example. David’s compensation will then be reduced by 20%, and he will, therefore, receive less than he may have hoped.
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