It is well known that not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is dangerous. By not wearing a helmet, you greatly increase your likelihood of sustaining a devastating head injury. A lesser-known effect of not wearing a helmet is the impact that this behavior can have on a motorcycle accident claim if you are involved in a collision. By not wearing a helmet, you exhibit negligence and some fault for your own injuries. In some cases, this can be a reason for your compensation to be reduced.
In Michigan, people can choose whether or not to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. However, not wearing a helmet is only permitted under the conditions that the rider is at least 21 years old and has at least $20,000 in medical insurance coverage. These rules apply to both the drivers and passengers of motorcycles. Motorcycle drivers must also have passed a motorcycle safety class or have had a motorcycle endorsement for at least 2 years. All drivers and passengers under the age of 21 must wear a helmet on a motorcycle.
Although it is legal to go without a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Michigan, doing so is highly unsafe. Not wearing a helmet can also potentially impact your claim if you are injured in a motorcycle accident.
Michigan’s negligence laws follow the principle of comparative negligence. Under these laws, the compensation a person receives following an accident can be reduced according to their own degree of negligence. So, if a person is identified as 30% responsible for their motorcycle accident injuries, the compensation they can recover would be reduced by 30%. Injury victims in Michigan can still recover financial damages if they are over 50% at fault for their injuries, but cannot recover non-economic damages if they are over 50% liable.
Motorcycle accident victims in Michigan are covered by no-fault insurance. In no-fault states, injury victims must file a claim with their own insurance company to receive compensation after an accident, rather than with another driver’s insurance company. By not wearing a helmet and being injured in an accident, you signal to your insurance company that you are not a safe driver. The benefits you receive after an accident could be reduced for this reason, or your rates could be increased in the future. Overall, it is the best decision to always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle — for health and financial reasons.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Goodman Acker P.C. Our legal team can help you navigate your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, send us a message or call (248) 793-2010.
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