What You Need to Know about Motorcycle Helmets
Many motorcyclists have questions about wearing a helmet in South Carolina. Read below for some information regarding motorcycle helmets in South Carolina, why they are important, and how the presence or absence of one could affect your motorcycle accident claim.
Motorcycle Helmets Are Important
Firstly, motorcycle helmets are important for protecting your health and safety as a motorcyclist. Helmeted riders have up to a 73% lower fatality rate than motorcyclists without helmets. Helmeted riders have up to an 85% reduced incidence of severe, serious, and critical injuries than those without. Further, in its Report to Congress: Benefits of Safety Belts and Motorcycle Helmets, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that motorcycle helmets are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries, and those motorcyclists not wearing helmets are over three times as likely to suffer a brain injury as those who wore helmets.
Motorcycle Helmets are Sometimes Required
Under Section 56-5-3660 of the South Carolina Code, anyone under the age of 21 is required to wear a protective helmet that has been approved by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. That helmet must have either a neck strap or a chin strap, and both sides must have reflectors. For riders aged 21 and older, South Carolina law does not require wearing a helmet. You can find helmets marked approved by the Department of Transportation.
Wearing a Helmet Could Help You in a Lawsuit
If you do not wear a helmet, you could be found to be partially responsible for your injuries in an accident. This is because South Carolina has a practice called comparative negligence, in which your damages award, or compensation, is reduced by the amount of fault assigned to you for the accident. For instance, if you were awarded $100,000 but were found to be 10% at fault, your damages award would be reduced by 10%.
You May Be Entitled to Damages
If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident, regardless of whether or not a helmet was worn, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Compensation can help cover medical bills and treatment costs, damages to your motorcycle or other property, damages for pain and suffering, damages for current lost wages or income as well as future lost wages, and damages for permanent disfigurement or impairment, if applicable. In some cases, punitive damages (damages assigned when the defendant’s conduct was particularly willful or malicious) are possible as well. Get in touch with an attorney today to protect your rights and interests and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.
You Need a Good Attorney for Your Claim
There are many attorneys who can take a personal injury case. But motorcycle accidents are particularly complex cases with their own considerations and elements. If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident and is considering bringing a claim, you need an experienced professional by your side. Contact a skilled Columbia motorcycle accident lawyer today at The Stanley Law Group. Call 803-799-4700 and set up a consultation.