In an article published by Reuters at the end of last year, the author discussed a U.S. study that suggests that motorcycle passengers are more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) than drivers. A significant factor that puts passengers at a higher risk for TBIs was the fact that passengers do not wear helmets as often as drivers.
In the crashes studied by the researchers, drivers were wearing helmets in about two-thirds of the accidents while passengers only had helmets on in about 57.5 percent of the crashes. However, even when passengers wore helmets, they were still more likely to suffer a TBI than a driver (36 percent compared to 31 percent). TBIs were also the most common type of injury for both drivers and passengers on motorcycles.
Another factor that might increase a motorcycle passenger’s risk for a TBI in a crash is the position on the motorcycle. Seated in the rear, the passenger does not have the protective windshield or a firm grip on anything to help prevent them from being ejected from the motorcycle. Sitting above the back wheel may place the passenger at a higher risk of being ejected, which increases the risk of suffering a brain injury.
Louisiana Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Motorcycle helmet laws vary by state. Louisiana motorcycle laws require both drivers and passengers to wear a motorcycle helmet whenever the motorcycle is in motion. Helmets must meet the safety standards set by the National Commissioner, have a sun visor, padding, and a chin strap that will keep the helmet in place in a crash. In addition, riders must wear protective eyewear or a helmet visor unless the motorcycle has a windshield that meets the minimum height requirement for protection. There are very few exceptions to Louisiana’s universal motorcycle law.
Filing an Insurance Claim as a Motorcycle Passenger
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident as a passenger, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. You will file your claim with the insurance company for the liable party or parties. In some motorcycle accidents, your claim may be against another driver, a government agency, or a company. However, you may also have a claim against the motorcycle driver if the driver was responsible for the crash. In cases in which multiple parties are responsible for causing the accident, you can file claims against each of those parties.
Determining the responsible party for a motorcycle crash can be difficult, especially if the parties are disputing fault. Our New Orleans motorcycle accident lawyers can help you identify the liable parties by conducting a thorough accident investigation.
Contact a New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Attorney for More Information
You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages if you are injured in a motorcycle crash. We encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation.
Source: “Motorcycle passengers have higher head injury risks.” Lisa Rapaport. Reuters. 12 December 2017.