Motorcyclists are at a higher risk for serious injury or death than their counterparts when involved in an auto accident. Severe head trauma, back or neck injuries and more are all too common results of collisions between motorcycles and cars. In 2012, nearly 14% of fatalities in Texas motor vehicle collisions were motorcyclists.
Whether or not a biker is wearing a helmet at the time of a crash does not affect his or her rights to fair treatment and compensation when injured due to another driver’s actions. Understanding the laws and options for help in these situations is important for anyone riding a motorcycle in Texas.
Helmet Use in Texas
The state of Texas requires that anyone 20 years of age or younger must wear a helmet when on a motorcycle at all times. For persons 21 years of age or older, helmet use is encouraged but not required if:
- The rider has passed a valid motorcycle safety course
- The rider carries valid health insurance coverage
- Only one of these requirements needs to be met
Texas law enforcement cannot stop a motorcyclist simply to confirm whether or not they have health insurance or have taken a safety course but they can request data showing one or the other if a stop occurs for any other reason first, including a motorcycle accident. Data from the state department of transportation indicates that more than half of all motorcyclists killed in accidents in 2012 were not wearing helmets.
Important Steps If an Accident Occurs
With more than 10,000 motorcycle accidents reported statewide in 2012, Texas motorcyclists should be aware of safety precautions and the proper steps to take when an accident does occur. As with any vehicular accident, securing medical help as needed for any injured party or parties is the first priority. Motorcyclists should be sure to collect all information from other drivers, including insurance data and driver’s license numbers.
Taking photos with a camera or cell phone and getting witness contact information is also highly important if possible and safe to do. Contacting an Austin personal injury attorney is always a wise thing to do when involved in a motorcycle accident. Ensuring proper legal help in these situations can be the best way to know that full and just compensation is possible. You can call The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC 24/7 for a free consultation.