Helmets can Reduce Head and Facial Injuries for Motorcyclists
Approximately 88,000 motorcyclists 1 sustained a wide variety of injuries in accidents in a single year in the U.S. Often, a motorcyclist will get thrown from their bike with excessive force and may land face-first on the pavement or another object. This is especially common in rear-end motorcycle collisions.
It is not surprising that, under such circumstances, a motorcyclist can sustain severe injuries to both the face and the head, as this is often the part of the body that collides with the ground first. Such injuries can leave victims with a long road to recovery and may even cause permanent disfigurement and scarring. These injuries may include:
- Fractured or shattered jaw
- Cheekbone and other facial fractures
- Dental damage including TMJ
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) 2
Injuries to the face, jaw, and teeth can require extensive treatment, including surgical reconstructive procedures, wiring the jaw shut, dental victims are often left with significant scarring. An injured motorcycle rider is entitled to payment for all current and future medical expenses related to injures sustained. In addition, victims with disfigurement or disabilities can develop significant emotional issues and can experience pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement. Under California law, a motorcycle rider injured by the negligence of another motor vehicle operator is entitled to compensation for all of these types of injuries. These are the so-called "general damages" that usually make up a large portion of the value of any personal injury claim. (Note: these damages can be limited in California under Civil Code 3333.3 if you do not carry at least the state minimum liability insurance on your motorcycle. Don't go without insurance!) There is no set formula for calculating these "general damages" and an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who has handled many claims over a long period of time with a record of success is the best person to analyze your particular set of injuries and how this has affected your day to day life and activities and argue for the maximum amount of compensation to the motorcycle accident victim.
Wearing a proper motorcycle helmet with a face guard can substantially reduce 3 face and head injuries in a motorcycle crash. Motorcyclists can often avoid fractures, dental damage, and cracked skulls by protecting themselves with a helmet. However, California law does not require every motorcyclist to wear a helmet and, therefore, many riders may be tempted to ride without proper head protection, opening themselves up to potential head and face injuries. Not wearing a helmet does not mean that you lose the right to recover for your injuries from a negligent party, however, it may substantially reduce the value of any motorcycle accident personal injury claim based upon the concept of comparative fault (sometimes called comparative negligence).
The Need to Retain Your Helmet After a Motorcycle Crash
Oftentimes, legal liability as well as causation and extent of injury is at issue and argued in legal proceedings following a motorcycle wreck. Motorcycle accident attorneys often use accident reconstruction and medical experts to sort out these claims. Showing visible damage to your helmet can assist these experts in demonstrating how the accident occurred and how it caused bodily injury to the motorcycle rider. Always retain your helmet after a crash for this use, even if it is damaged or partially destroyed.
Though motorcyclists have a love for riding, they put themselves at risk of serious head and facial injuries every time they head out on their bikes. These injuries can leave riders with permanent scarring and long-term challenges. Even if you wear a helmet, you still run the risk of sustaining serious injuries and incurring extensive losses. At the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC, APC, we understand how serious motorcycle accidents can be and will help you fully recover from any responsible parties. Please call our office at 323-944-0993 for a free consultation.References