Indiana is one of nearly 30 states that requires some, but not all, riders to wear motorcycle helmets. In this case, “some” refers to motorcyclists 18 and younger and instructional permit holders. These groups of riders are required to wear protective headgear, as well as “protective glasses, goggles, or transparent face shields” whenever “operating or riding on a motorcycle.”
How Helmet Use Could Affect Your Claim or Lawsuit
Even though Indiana doesn’t mandate helmet use for the majority of motorcyclists, not wearing a helmet can still negatively affect your personal injury insurance claim or civil lawsuit. Insurance adjusters with the other driver’s insurance company—and defense attorneys in civil cases—will investigate to determine whether you were helmeted at the time of the accident and claim you were negligent if you weren’t.
As a result, you may be held partially responsible for your injuries. While this won’t prevent you from filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, it could potentially reduce the monetary award you might receive.
A motorcycle accident attorney with our firm will work diligently to mitigate insurance or defense attorney tactics designed to limit their financial obligations to you.
Potential Forms of Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident
Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet or not, if we can prove the liability of the other driver or party, you can seek different forms of compensation.
Your losses may entitle you to the following damages:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
A lawyer with our firm can help calculate your damages and speak to your doctors to understand the full extent of how your injuries will affect your life in the future. An initial settlement offer from an insurer may not take these losses into account and undervalue your claim instead. We can make sure we leave no stone unturned when determining fair compensation.
Benefits of Riding with a Helmet
Motorcycle helmet laws are designed to reduce the number of riders who lose their lives in motorcycle accidents each year. In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents in the United States, and 149 of those fatalities occurred in Indiana, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, 105 of those deaths in Indiana involved an unhelmeted motorcyclist.
The NHTSA estimates that wearing a helmet saved the lives of nearly 2,000 motorcyclists—and could have saved almost 800 of the riders who died. Along with preventing fatalities, helmet use proved to reduce the severity of injuries in non-fatal accidents, as well.
According to Injury, helmeted motorcyclists walked away from accidents with less severe head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and C-spine injuries.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law P.C. is a motorcycle enthusiast and personal injury lawyer. He knows the hardships riders face after a motorcycle accident and can provide the honest, aggressive representation you deserve to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Contact Sevenish Law P.C. today to arrange your free initial case consultation. You can reach us. For additional information, request a copy of our free ebook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101.