Not all states require that motorcyclists wear helmets when riding. This means that you can still recover damages from another driver’s insurance if they were responsible for causing the accident — though the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet can impact the amount you receive. It’s important to remember that the accident would have happened anyway, but your injuries may be worse because you weren’t wearing a helmet, and this is the part that the guilty party may fight you on during the claims process. Here’s what can impact your motorcycle case if you weren’t wearing a helmet.
State laws about motorcycle helmet rules vary across a broad range. In some states, like Arizona and Colorado, only riders under the age of 18 are legally required to wear a helmet. Other states set the required age as anyone below 21, including Arkansas and Kentucky. Finally, some states are all for helmets or do not have any helmet laws; for example, in California, everyone must wear a helmet, but in Iowa there are no helmet laws. Some states have exceptions to their overall rules, like if a person is driving a three-wheeled vehicle of a certain size.
Next, motorcyclists need to take their state’s negligence laws into consideration. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, the accident still would have happened regardless, but the defendant can claim that your injuries would have been less severe had you been wearing one, and therefore you don’t deserve full compensation. This argument can only work in states that have contributory or comparative negligence laws, as these laws take fault from both sides of the accident into account. You can lose some of your recovery damages or be barred from them altogether. Check your state laws to see how negligence may impact your claim.
Insurance Company Investigations
The police officer who responds to the accident will take statements from everyone involved and create a report dictating who they think is at fault, but the insurance company doesn’t have to use this. The company will more than likely launch their own investigation into the crash to see who is mostly responsible. When dealing with insurance, it’s important not to admit guilt or suggest that you are liable for the accident.
A local attorney or law firm, like the motorcycle accident lawyers, at David & Philpot, PL, likely have the resources to help you choose the best course of action for recovery. They can determine the right strategy to get most of your damages covered.