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Are You Liable For Not Wearing A Helmet?

by Daniel Pauly

Having just survived an accident, a motorcycle accident lawyer is the best person to offer advice concerning state laws. You may already know that traffic laws differ across states therefore liabilities when accidents happen may be interpreted differently. The most common confusion arises from motorcyclists wearing a helmet or not. That brings up the so-called helmet states and helmetless states –terms used to describe states that mandate the use of helmets or not.

State Helmet Laws

Most US states require motorcyclists to wear a helmet for the shortest rides. They also require that motorcycle passengers wear a helmet. In most states, however, wearing a helmet is only compulsory for individuals younger than 18. Adults over 18 are allowed to choose whether they want to wear a helmet or not.

These disparities in helmet laws mean that you may or may not be liable for compensation if you have an accident. California, for example, is a helmet state, as all riders are required to wear a helmet each time they ride out. Georgia also makes wearing helmets mandatory for riders. Arizona and Arkansas require riders below 17 and 20 respectively to wear a helmet. Florida, Colorado, and Delaware require helmets for riders below 20, 17, and 18 respectively.

Know Your Liability

Generally, the absence of helmets does not constitute a traffic violation in helmetless states, but it can impact your claim if the insurance company determines that your negligence placed you at greater risk of injuries. Other factors including the details of the case will also be considered. The question then is not whether you are liable for a claim but the amount of compensation that you will get. Why? Although not wearing a helmet increases your risk, you cannot be held responsible for causing the accident.

Your motorcycle accident lawyer will consider these while filing your claims.

Protect Yourself

Feeling the wind in your hair and rushing past your ears is awesome, but safety is paramount; you should wear a helmet every time you ride out. Most motorcycle insurance packages come with a provision to purchase helmets. Helmets are generally expensive, and that’s another reason why some motorcyclists shun them. Wear a helmet and other protective equipment when you ride out.

Your motorcycle accident lawyer is always available for quick consultations regarding the state helmet laws and your liability in the event of an accident. Get every information out there and stay safe!