Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Personal Injury Cases: 4 FAQs

Motorcycle riding can be an enjoyable hobby and allow you to explore the open road, but what happens when you get injured by another vehicle while out on your bike? Injuries that occur in this manner can be extremely serious, especially in the case of head trauma. If you believe someone was negligent in such an accident but you were not wearing a helmet at the time, there are a few questions you may want to ask your attorney.

  1. Can I Still File a Lawsuit? 

If you can prove the other driver was at fault and acted negligently, such as if he or she was using a cell phone at the time of the crash, you may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual. His or her insurance company may also be required to pay for your medical bills if the driver is found at fault.

  1. Is There a Helmet Law in My State? 

If you are not aware of which helmet laws might affect your lawsuit, your attorney can help you understand their impact. For example, more than a dozen states require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion, while others only require helmets for minor drivers and passengers. If helmets are required in your state but you failed to wear one, you may not be able to file a personal injury claim.

  1. Is My State At Fault or No-Fault? 

The way insurance coverage functions in your state of residence could affect whether you can sue the other driver or his or her insurance company. If you reside in a no-fault state, your insurance coverage may cover the cost of property damage and your medical bills, depending on your individual policy. At-fault states allow you to collect from the other driver’s insurance company, but you may want to keep in mind that any negligent act on your behalf may void that right.

  1. What Is Comparative Negligence? 

Depending on your state of residence, the court or insurance company may use a comparative negligence scale to determine what you can recover. For instance, if you sue for $10,000 but are deemed as being 30 percent at fault for the wreck, you can only collect $7,000 in total damages. This scale may work in your favor if the other driver’s actions were more negligent than your own.