Whether or not someone is wearing safety gear will impact the claim. At the very least, it will impact the number of injuries suffered. Not wearing a helmet or other safety gear can cause a person to be more seriously injured because they have little or no protection to their body when they have the crash. However, regarding wearing a helmet or safety goggles, under Montana law, a person over the age of 18 is not required to wear protective headgear (Mont. Code. Ann. § 61-9-417 (2017)).
In Montana, even if you are not wearing a helmet, if you suffer serious injuries, you have a right to recover for those injuries. In Montana, 40 -50% of the motorcyclists injured in crashes in 2017 were wearing helmets (Montana Highway Patrol Annual Report (2018)).
If a police agency conducted an investigation, took photos, cited the other driver (and not the injured motorcycle driver), and there is a thorough police investigation that clearly establishes liability, then further investigation, in that case, may not be necessary.
However, the critical problem is that once the investigation is not thoroughly completed, once photos are not taken, once witnesses are gone, once vehicles are gone, those things cannot be done later. So, contacting an attorney to make sure that any investigation that needs to be done is done on time, and that evidence is properly secured or preserved, affects the outcome of the case.
If a person has a minor incident and the motorcycle rider truly isn’t seriously injured, did not require medical treatment, and does not miss any work, then it would be reasonable to try to work with the insurance company. But anytime someone has any serious injury, has missed work, has significant medical expenses (such as the emergency room), they are at a disadvantage with the insurance company. Insurance claims adjusters are trained to minimize claim values ad payments even while they are being friendly, however, they are not there to help you – they are there to save their company money and represent their insured, the person causing the crash. Even your own company is not necessarily looking after your interests, particularly in an uninsured motorist claim.
Attorneys who handle motor vehicle cases, and have not operated a motorcycle, or handled motorcycle claims, do not have the motorcycle and claim experience necessary to most successfully navigate a motorcycle accident injury claim and assist you. They will not be as well prepared, or have the same tools, skills or experience to get the best results for the clients as a more specialized attorney would.
For more information on Safety Gear In Motorcycle Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling Bliven Law Firm, P.C. at (406) 755-6828 today.