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Comparative negligence in motorcycle accident cases

Most states, including Louisiana, have laws on when a motorcyclist is required to wear a helmet. It is well recognized that wearing a helmet can save a motorcyclist's life in a motorcycle accident. In fact, motorcyclists who do not wear a helmet are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury in a crash, and many bikers lose their lives after injuring their head in a collision.

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can happen to helmeted and helmetless motorcyclists alike. A motorcyclist who is not wearing a helmet may be injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver. The motorcyclist may want to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver, but does the fact that they were not wearing a helmet mean they cannot recover damages?

Louisiana is a comparative negligence state. This means that every party's percentage of fault will be factored into a final award in a personal injury case. Therefore, if the plaintiff is partly at-fault, the amount he or she can receive in compensation will be reduced in proportion to the percentage he or she was at fault. For example, if the plaintiff was found to be 30 percent at fault, his or her recovery will amount to 70 percent of the full damages awarded.

So, while it is always advisable to wear a helmet when on a motorcycle, not doing so will not necessarily completely bar recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. However, motorcyclists pursing compensation after a motorcycle accident should make sure to seek professional guidance, as this post cannot promise results in one's case. With legal help, motorcyclists can fight for what they are rightfully owed from a negligent driver.

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