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North Carolina General Assembly Considers Abolishing Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Law

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What Happened:

If the sponsors of a new bill before the North Carolina General Assembly get their way then the state will repeal its mandatory motorcycle helmet law for those drivers 21 and older. The measure, currently under consideration, would abolish the requirement that all drivers wear a safety helmet when on their bikes, a move that has been decried by many safety experts.

The law would specifically require that only those drivers younger than 21 would have to wear a helmet. The law also states that anyone who has had his or her license for less than a year would be required to wear a helmet until 12 months had passed. The legislation stipulates that those riders choosing not to wear their helmet would need to carry enough insurance to cover the first $10,000 of any medical bills that might result from an accident.

The bill in North Carolina recently passed the House Transportation Committee and is preparing to move on to a vote of the full House, inching closer to passage. Should North Carolina abolish its law, it would join the 31 other states that lack mandatory helmet usage laws. The sponsor of the legislation has said the issue is about individual choice and that the government should stay out of the matter. Others have said that the cost of citizens suffering potentially debilitating injuries, including brain damage, gives the government more than enough reason to implement such a helmet law.

One of the other groups that have come out against the bill is AAA of North Carolina. The group has argued that the state is currently one of the safest states in terms of motorcycle fatalities and that abolishing the measure that has led to that safety would place hundreds or thousands of people at risk for serious injuries. The group said that between 2007 and 2011 nearly 800 people in North Carolina died in motorcycle accidents and repealing the helmet law would only lead to increases in that already high number.

The North Carolina Injury Attorney’s Perspective:

According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2001 and 2008, more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed on the nation’s roadways. During that same period, an estimated 1.2 million people were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal motorcycle-related injuries. Statistics show that injured riders commonly are left with head and neck injuries, sometimes resulting in severe brain trauma or paralysis, especially in instances where riders were thrown from their motorcycle.  

Potentially Helpful Information: 

If you lost a family member in a terrible Virginia car, motorcycle or truck wreck caused by another driver, it’s critical that you turn to an experienced attorney for advice. My firm has successfully represented clients injured in such motorcycle wrecks before. In one case, my firm was able to secure a $450,000 award for a client who was injured in an accident while riding his Harley to a nearby convenience store.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Virginia (VA) motorcycle accident and you want to learn more about your legal rights and possible options for pursing a claim against the responsible party, read through my firm’s car accident injury guide, which provides some important information about such claims.   

Have Questions? Check out our FAQs

If you were recently injured in a Virginia car, motorcycle or truck accident and are not sure how to move forward, it might be helpful to check out my firm’s answers to some frequently asked questions regarding car accident claims. For instance, you may be wondering what types of damages an injured person can recover or how you can go about calculating and recovering money for lost wages. For these answers and more, read my firm’s Virginia car accident FAQs.

Here's a video of one of our attorney's discussing a challenging motorcycle accident case:

CA

Kevin M. Duffan
Elizabeth City & Raleigh Personal Injury Attorney
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