When it comes to motorcycle helmets, states vary on their requirements from having no law to requiring all riders to wear a helmet at all times. The state of Indiana falls in the middle of this continuum with a partial law that requires helmets and eye protection for all drivers and riders under the age of 18, as well as for instructional permit holders.
There is more to consider than just the law, however, as wearing a helmet even when it is not required by law can have a variety of benefits. The most obvious benefit being the added safety that a helmet provides. As the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states: “The best helmet is no guarantee against injury, but statistics indicate that helmet use reduces the risk of brain injury by 67 percent.” With statistics like these, wearing a helmet is definitely something to consider due to the increased safety benefit alone.
As an attorney, we also see another side to the debate of whether or not to wear a helmet, something that riders often don’t think about - the legal ramifications. In motorcycle accident cases, whether or not you were wearing a helmet or not can significantly impact a judge or jury’s perception of your case. Even though not wearing a helmet is legal in Indiana, it would still likely taint the case in your opponent’s favor if you chose not to wear one and that fact came up during a trial. This simple decision might make you seem reckless and unconcerned for your own safety in the eyes of a judge or jury, which in turn makes it hard for them to see you as the victim. It also might bring into question how much of your injury was a result of the other party and how much was brought upon yourself by choosing not to wear a helmet - thus reducing the amount of your final settlement.
No one wants to think about the possibility of being in a motorcycle accident, but as a motorcycle accident attorney it is important for us to raise awareness about the hidden legal benefits of wearing a helmet. We know that the choice of whether or not to wear a motorcycle helmet is a deeply personal one, but we hope that this information will help you to consider all of the benefits - even those you may not have considered previously.
Interested in wearing a motorcycle helmet, but don’t know where to start?
Visit helmetcheck.org to find out everything you need to know from the different types of helmets to finding the perfect fit.
Going on a road trip?
Check out this simple map outlining the motorcycle helmet laws by state, so that you can be prepared.
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident?
Whether you were wearing a helmet or not, we know that you deserve full compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to put a fighter on your side!