Can I Still Recover Damages If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet and Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in an Accident?

South Carolina motorcycle helmet laws require drivers under the age of 21 to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. If you are 21 or older, and sustained a brain injury when involved in an accident, you would not be in violation of the law. Likewise, your lack of a helmet is not considered an act of negligence because you have no duty to wear a helmet.

You can seek damages even if you were not wearing a protective helmet at the time of the collision. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, a lawyer helping South Carolina riders who are victims of a motorcycle wreck can review your case.

South Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Laws

The South Carolina motorcycle helmet laws only apply to drivers under the age of 21. Any driver age 20 or younger who fails to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle can be ticketed and fined for failing to do so. At the age of 21, however, motorcycle drivers can wear helmets at their discretion.

South Carolina previously had a universal helmet law, requiring motorcycle drivers of all ages to wear a helmet while operating their vehicles. This law was enacted in 1967, but changed in 1980 to only apply to drivers under 21.

Despite South Carolina motorcycle helmet laws, insurance adjusters may argue that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to the severity of the brain injury. The adjuster may argue that as a result, the injured biker’s recovery should be limited. When dealing with the insurance company - on top of a traumatic brain injury - a lawyer assisting Sumter bikers may be of great help in the negotiations.

How to Seek Damages

Whether your collision occurred on a busy road, interstate, or back road, you deserve compensation for your brain injury and the pain and hardship it has caused you.

When dealing with a traumatic brain injury, a lawyer in Columbia can help you seek compensation for:

  • medical bills and treatment costs (current and projected);
  • damages to your vehicle or other property;
  • pain, suffering and mental anguish;
  • current lost wages or income;
  • future lost income (if the injury has affected your earning capacity);
  • permanent disfigurement or impairment; and
  • loss of consortium (if the injury has affected the quality of your relationship or companionship).

In cases in which the at-fault driver was particularly careless, you may be due punitive damages. These seek not to compensate victims for damages, but to punish the at-fault party for malicious or reckless behavior, and to discourage such behavior in the future. For instance, punitive damages are not uncommon in drunk driving cases.

Get Help From a South Carolina Motorcycle Injury Lawyer

Did you suffer a brain or other serious injury in a motorcycle accident? Even if you were in violation of our state’s helmet laws, you may still be due compensation. Call the Law Office of Kenneth Berger at 803-790-2800 to speak to a traumatic brain injury lawyer who serves citizens across our state, and find out how South Carolina motorcycle helmet laws may impact your case.