New York’s motorcycle helmet law states that anyone of any age has to wear a motorcycle helmet. This is regardless of whether they are a passenger on the motorcycle or they are operating it.
While some parts of the United States allow motorcycle riders over 18 or 21 years of age to ride without wearing a helmet, New York does not. In fact, the law states that the motorcycle helmet should meet federal safety regulations. Section 381 of the Consolidated Laws of New York, Vehicle, and Traffic Code has more information on this.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you are not wearing a helmet, any personal injury claim that you bring about may be affected. This is the case even if it is clear that another driver was responsible for the accident.
This is because New York uses a comparative negligence rule and it is applied when the plaintiff is partly responsible for their injuries. If the jury decides that you were negligent because you failed to wear a helmet, your compensation will be affected.
The jury could, for example, find you 20% responsible for your injuries. This is because the jury would have determined that a reasonable person would have worn a helmet. What this means for you is that your compensation will be reduced by 20%.
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