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August 2019

A helmet may be important even after a motorcycle crash

As summer turns to fall, you are likely looking forward to riding your motorcycle in cooler weather. While you may have excellent riding skills, you may not be able to avoid a collision with a motorist forever. If you do have an accident, your riding helmet may save your life.

In Colorado, most motorcyclists do not have a legal obligation to put on a helmet before hitting the open road. As such, provided you are at least 18, you may choose to forego head protection. While failing to wear a helmet may put your life in jeopardy, it may also harm your chances of pursuing compensation from whoever caused the accident.

Contributory negligence 

When evaluating personal injury claims, Colorado law uses a contributory negligence standard. That is, the judge or jury determines how much responsibility each party to the accident had for its occurrence. Then, the amount of the award reduces to compensate for an individual’s comparative fault.

If, during your motorcycle collision, you sustained a head injury that wearing a helmet may have prevented, the judge or jury may decide you are at least partially to blame. For example, if a judge determines you are 30% responsible for your injuries, you may only be able to receive compensation for 70% of your damages.

Insurance considerations 

Most insurance firms are large, publicly traded companies. As such, insurance executives have a duty to maximize profits for company shareholders. To do so, adjusters must pay as little as possible. If you do not wear a helmet and sustain a serious injury, your insurance provider may try to reduce the amount you receive. Your insurance company may also raise your future insurance rates for not wearing a helmet.

By always wearing a safety-rated helmet, you have a greater chance of surviving a motorcycle accident. You may also have a better opportunity to receive full compensation for your damages. Either way, putting on a helmet before exploring the Centennial State on your motorcycle is a great idea.

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