Yes and no. 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.”
Motorcycle helmet laws like these are designed to reduce the number of riders who lose their lives in motorcycle accidents each year. In 2015, 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents in the United States, and 107 of those fatalities occurred in Indiana, according to statistics from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
Additionally, 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.
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, if you weren’t, claim you were negligent. 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 knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorney will work diligently to mitigate insurance or defense attorney tactics designed to reduce or limit their financial obligations to you.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law is a motorcycle enthusiast and seasoned personal injury lawyer. He knows the hardships riders face after a motorcycle accident, and can provide the honest, aggressive representation you need to pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact Sevenish Law today to arrange your free initial case consultation. For additional information, request a copy of our free ebook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101.