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The Role of Helmet Use In Motorcycle Accident Cases



If you weren't wearing a helmet and you got into a motorcycle accident, you may have significantly increased medical bills due to concussion, head trauma or other issues. In many states, it is actually illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. Even if it isn't illegal, a lawyer for the opposing side in a personal injury case involving a motorcycle accident may claim that your asked-for settlement would have been a lot lower if you had been wearing a helmet. Because of precedents in laws and court cases settled across the country, this argument would stand up in court.

Why Wear A Helmet

Ultimately, the smartest choice when riding your motorcycle is to wear a helmet. Apart from protecting your head and quite possibly your life, it will also protect your finances. If you show that you were taking every precaution, it will be easier to get a settlement that pays for all of your medical bills in the event that you get into an accident and have to make a personal injury lawsuit.

Of course, laws regarding motorcycle helmet use are different all across the country. Your best bet would be to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney about the particulars in your state.

Summary Of Possible Legal Effects Of Not Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet

Not wearing a helmet can have dire consequences on a legal level. The following consequences may arise in your motorcycle accident trial because you didn't wear a helmet.

  • Dangerous head trauma potentially leading to death, making it difficult for you to make a legal statement
  • Lower medical settlement
  • Negligence or endangerment charges/fines resulting from not wearing a helmet
  • Appearing to the court as non-credible and thus making it less likely for the court to rule in your favor
  • Making it easier for the opposing lawyer to claim that the accident was your fault

Indeed, these last two are perhaps the least tangible but potentially most important roles that helmet use plays in your case. If evidence from the accident is unclear, the judge's determination of fault will be based in part on the perception of both individuals. The claim can be made that if you weren't wearing a helmet, you were "looking for trouble" and thus riding recklessly.

If you weren't wearing a helmet, your lawyer may still be able to argue your point in a court of law. However, it will be more difficult to do so. Always share this information early in your consultation so your lawyer can help you prepare, as it will surely come up in court if you don't.