Published: December 20, 2023 | Jack Bernstein

Nevada has extensive universal motorcycle helmet legislation mandating DOT-certified helmets be worn by riders and passengers when operating on public roads, parking lots, trails or highways. Violations enable key defenses for insurance companies to dispute motorcycle accident claims and limit damages payouts after crashes through comparative negligence statutes.

If You Want To Know…Key Takeaways
How helmet law violations impact liability disputes– Enables comparative negligence arguments assigning partial fault
– Typically reduces injury claim value and settlement amounts
– Defense alleges you increased damages through non-compliance
Overcoming violations in pursuing maximum damages– Proving other driver overwhelmingly at fault
– Disputing violation directly worsened specific injuries
– Retaining experienced lawyer essential for negotiations
When a violation may have limited or no impact– If medical evidence shows injuries were unavoidable 
– Technicality unrelated to actual accident circumstances
– If violated but has extensive proof of otherwise prudent operation
Nevada laws on helmet compliance standards– Must be DOT-FMVSS 218 certified 
– Full-face style offers the best protection 
– With proper labeling and chin straps
– Novelty or novelty DOT helmets prohibited
Penalties & fines for not wearing a helmet– $100 plus court fees first offense 
– Up to $500, probation and license suspension for subsequent offenses
– Increased liability risks if involved in accident

Overview of Nevada’s Universal Motorcycle Helmet Law

Nevada has stringent universal helmet legislation mandating approved helmets for nearly all motorcyclists and passengers when riding on public roads, private roadways open to the public like parking lots, designated off-road trails, and in sidecars. Only three-wheeled cab vehicles with steering wheels are exempt.

Situations Requiring DOT Helmets

  • All public roads and highways
  • Private roadways like shopping center parking areas
  • Signed off-road trails unless specified
  • Any sidecar passengers

Approved Helmet Standards

Helmets must display certification showing they meet or exceed federal standards:

  • DOT FMVSS 218 – U.S. Department of Transportation stickers
  • Snell Memorial Foundation – SA, M or K certification on label

While no style specified, full-face helmets provide maximum protection. All legal helmets must also feature sturdy inner lining, chin straps, limited helmet shell protrusion, and manufacturer information.

Penalties for Violations

OffenseFineAdditional Consequences
1st Offense$100
Subsequent OffensesUp to $500 + Possible Probation or License SuspensionIncreased medical liability + costs

How Helmet Violations Can Undermine Injury Claims

In Nevada, failing to wear a DOT-certified helmet while operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle can severely jeopardize your injury claim and ability to recover accident damages.

Not wearing a helmet violates state law. As a result, comparative negligence principles apply when assessing fault and proportional responsibility for injuries sustained.

The defense almost always cites helmet non-compliance to dispute liability and reduce settlement values by arguing:

You Deliberately Increased Your Injury Risks

  • Assumed clear dangers of riding unprotected
  • Failed to mitigate preventable head trauma

Additional Injuries Resulted From Lack of Helmet

By highlighting your non-adherence to crucial public safety statutes, the defense contends you should share in liability for injuries and bear associated financial burdens through reduced compensation.

Settlements can be diminished even further if additional traffic violations or risky riding behaviors accompanied riding helmetless. The aggregated effects of multiple violations build the argument for heavily weighting your comparative negligence share.

Key Legal Defenses Citing Helmet Non-Compliance

When you violate motorcycle helmet laws, common legal defenses raised include:

Assumption of Risk

  • Argues the plaintiff assumed all dangers voluntarily
  • Contends head injuries were a foreseeable potential outcome

Failure to Mitigate Damages

  • Claims the plaintiff failed to minimize preventable harms
  • Asserts helmets could have greatly reduced damages

Contributory Negligence

  • Alleges violations partly caused claimed damages
  • Disputes full liability based on non-compliance

Additional Defenses

  • Reckless endangerment of self and others
  • Violation of duty of care to minimize risks

These defenses aim to defeat or limit liability claims citing deliberate disregard for public safety statutes. The defense also leverages these arguments during settlement negotiations to justify substantially decreasing offers.

An experienced attorney can craft counterarguments to overcome these defenses in court. But your path to maximum damages will be much smoother by simply wearing a DOT-certified helmet when riding.

Employing Legal Strategies to Dispute Helmet Violations

Make no mistake, overcoming helmet violations is an uphill battle in injury claims. Still, working closely with your attorney, several arguments may help limit liability and damages reductions.

Disputing Direct Causal Link to Injuries

While the defense will allege additional injuries resulted from riding helmetless, the burden of proof falls on them to demonstrate specific wounds tied directly to non-compliance. Thoroughly investigate:

  • Would a helmet have prevented or reduced each injury? Expert testimony helps.
  • Highlight other driver negligence as main accident cause, regardless of helmet.

Arguing Mitigating Circumstances

If you temporarily removed your helmet because it was broken or dangerously impaired vision, highlight these extenuating factors. Emphasize you otherwise always comply with motorcycle safety laws. Document past helmet purchases.

Challenging Excessive Liability Reduction

Comparative negligence aims for liability and damages aligned with proportional fault. Argue an extreme reduction overreaches your non-compliance role.

Getting the Full Settlement Context

Insurers leverage violations to chip away at settlements. Don’t accept initial offers. Consult an attorney to navigate negotiations. Settlement data shows experienced lawyers achieve results over 2X higher.

The best approach, however, still avoids this obstacle altogether. Protect your rights and safety – simply wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet on every ride.

When Helmet Violations May Not Affect Claims

Even without wearing a helmet, you may still pursue full damages without liability reductions if certain conditions are met:

Non-Compliance Didn’t Increase Specific Injuries

For instance, you may have severe leg or spinal trauma unrelated to helmet use. If medical evidence and expert testimony clearly attributes injuries solely to collision forces, lacking a helmet likely played no role. Demonstrating this isolates causation with the other motorist’s negligence.

Violation Didn’t Contribute to Accident Circumstances

Let’s say you mistakenly had a non-compliant novelty helmet. If fully licensed and the helmet itself didn’t hinder vision, vehicle control or crash dynamics in any way, it shouldn’t impact fault or compensation.

Overwhelming Evidence Favors Minimal/No Role in Liability

If other driver was grossly negligent like DUI or reckless endangerment, with crystal clear evidence and witness corroboration of your legal operation, violation impacts may be limited or defeated entirely.

Consult an Attorney Regardless of Scenario

Navigating helmet violation nuances requires legal expertise – so always retain counsel for guidance protecting your rights. But avoiding the infraction altogether remains the surest path towards maximizing injury compensation.

Takeaways for Pursuing Maximum Damages

Always Wear DOT-Certified Helmet

Strictly follow Nevada’s helmet law requiring DOT-FMVSS 218 certified helmets for riding on any public roads, trails, parking lots or highway shoulders. This eliminates a pivotal defense strategy undermining injury claims.

Consult Jack Bernstein’s 40+ Years Expertise

If riding without a helmet and involved in an accident, Jack Bernstein brings unrivaled experience fighting excessive liability reductions tied to violations. For over 40 years, Jack has leveraged his mastery of personal injury laws, passion for bike safety, and proven negotiation track record to successfully combat insurer tactics denying clients fair compensation.

Unlike large impersonal firms, Jack offers personalized legal strategies shaped by one-on-one collaboration. Past clients overwhelming praise Jack’s clarity explaining legal intricacies in everyday language. He wants clients fully empowered weighing options.

When you’re injured on the road, Jack’s personal mantra says it all – “Jack’s Got Your Back.”

Call today at (702) 633-3333 for your free consultation if you were in an accident riding without a helmet. Jack is ready to tackle every obstacle – so you can focus on recovery.

Spotlight Total Compliance With Other Motorcycle Laws

Emphasize you always properly license your bike, complete safely training refreshers annually, obey equipment regulations, carry insured coverage aligned with state minimums, and avoid any other traffic or substance violations. This strengthens your overall prudent duty of care profile.

While attorneys can assist if collisions occur, avoiding violations entirely is the surest path to fully protect your financial recovery rights in Nevada. Safety first, for both your health and future claim.

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Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in an accident due to negligence, contact Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation with experienced Las Vegas accident lawyers. You will gain an advocate for every stage in the claims process until you have the compensation you deserve.

Jack Bernstein Injury Lawyers is available to help you handle your injury claim in the Las Vegas metropolitan area and beyond. Jack Bernstein and his team can offer you the personalized service and legal representation you deserve after an accident.

Call us at (702) 633-3333 or contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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