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How Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect Liability in a Motorcycle Accident Case?

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In most states, wearing a helmet is required by law for motorcyclists. However, many motorcyclists choose to ignore these laws — and safety precautions — and do not wear a helmet when they ride. In addition to the safety risks that not wearing a helmet can lead to, doing so can also impact liability and compensation if a motorcycle accident occurs.

New Hampshire Motorcycle Helmet Laws

New Hampshire actually does not have a motorcycle helmet law in place for adult riders. The state allows motorcyclists over the age of 18 to decide for themselves whether they want to wear a helmet or not. Helmets are required for motorcyclists and passengers who are under the age of 18. Although adult riders will not face any traffic violations if they are not wearing a helmet, the absence of a helmet when a motorcycle accident occurs can impact liability.

Is a Motorcyclist Liable for Their Injuries if They Don’t Wear a Helmet?

By not wearing a helmet, motorcyclists knowingly put themselves more at risk for head injuries. This known risk can inform an insurance company’s decision to provide less compensation to an accident victim, but this will depend on the details of a case. Although a motorcycle rider can be considered partially at fault for their own injuries if they do not wear a helmet, they are not at fault for causing the accident. It’s possible that a motorcyclist’s choice not to wear a helmet could impact their level of liability in a collision and the compensation they are entitled to.

Contributory Negligence in New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire follows the principle of contributory negligence, which accounts for the possibility of multiple liable parties in cases of motorcycle accidents. The level of fault of both the motorcycle rider and other driver are considered, and compensation may be reduced according to each person’s degree of fault.

So, in a case in which a motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet, the other driver would most likely be considered primarily at fault for the collision. The motorcyclist will not be barred from recovering compensation for this reason, but could be provided less compensation due to their decision not to wear a helmet.

The legal team of Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can handle your case if you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (603) 288-1403.