Do I Still Have a Claim if I was Hit by a Car on a Bicycle Without a Helmet in New Mexico?
Cycling has gained popularity over the years, specially on roadways. Many bicycle manufacturers have started to make more biker-friendly options for riders too. Some eco-friendly initiatives have also convinced more people to use biking as an alternative means of commuting or traveling. Whereas other exercise companies and fitness recommendations from physicians call label cycling as a very healthy alternative to running that is less damaging on the knees, hips, and back (low-impact). While bicycling is great for all of these results, it can lead to some serious questions in an accident. If you were hit by a car on a bicycle without a helmet in New Mexico, you may have some questions regarding your potential claim.
Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced personal injury lawyers handle bicycle accident cases. Whether you were injured on a quiet side street or on a busier road, you have rights under New Mexico law. Damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and other types of pain and suffering may be compensable. Learn how our lawyers can help protect your rights to this compensation and more during a FREE consultation.
Do I Have to Wear a Helmet in New Mexico?
One of the most common questions is whether a rider has to wear a helmet in New Mexico. If that rider is under 18, the answer is yes under NM stat. 32A-24-3 which requires all minors to wear a helmet and imposes a penalty on a parent.
If you are 18 or older, no, you do not have to wear a helmet.
But that does not mean you should not. Although helmets may make you feel “less cool” or be bulky, they really can safe your life or prevent a traumatic brain injury. Helmets are important, even if you are going around the neighborhood because you never know when a negligent motorist, pedestrian, roadway defect, or even a bicycle defect could harm you.
If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet, Can that Be Used Against Me?
No, it technically cannot. In some states there is a “helmet defense” when a defendant can argue that your injuries were worse because you didn’t wear a required helmet. But in New Mexico, there is no requirement to where a helmet. Moreover, the legislature has determined and courts have held that the failure to wear a helmet has no bearing on liability for an accident, therefore it cannot come in. This allows a plaintiff to collect the compensation that he or she really needs after serious or catastrophic injuries.
When it comes to a jury, however, an unscrupulous defense lawyer could put the argument out there that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of not wearing a helmet. Sometimes they will even infer this to a jury in a tactful way that an inexperienced lawyer may not realize and object to. This is why you need to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
Hit by a Car on a Bicycle Without a Helmet in New Mexico? Call Our Experienced Law Firm
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision while on a bicycle, as our experienced personal injury lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE consultation to learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation under New Mexico law. We will not let a negligent motorist get away with it, and we will protect your claim whether or not you were wearing a helmet. This includes fighting back against a defense lawyer that improperly tries to escape liability for your lack of a helmet under the law.
Call for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 for your consultation. We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico. Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.