Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is certainly a contentious issue, and each state handles it differently. Here in Pennsylvania, you can ride under certain conditions, but there may be more than your safety at stake if you choose to do so.
Under current state law, motorcycle riders can ride without helmets if they are over 21 years old, and have either completed a PennDOT-approved motorcycle safety course or have at least two years of riding experience.
However, while it is certainly your right to ride without a helmet if you meet the requirements, doing so carries significant risks. Obviously, motorcyclists are very vulnerable in collisions with anything, be that another driver or a stationary object. A motorcycle accident that might only injure you slightly may injure you seriously or kill you if you do not wear a helmet.
Another thing to consider is the impact that riding without a helmet may have on an injury claim if you suffer harm in an accident while helmet-less.
Helmets offer both personal and legal protection
When you wear a helmet while riding, you are not only offering protection to your head and its contents, you are also giving yourself a better chance of succeeding in a personal injury claim.
Each situation varies, and the judge hearing your claim must determine a helmet’s relevance to your injury. However, it is possible that the defendant in an injury case could make the claim that you were partially to blame for your injury through your own negligence by not wearing a helmet.
This does not mean that your case is dead in the water, but it may impact the damages that you might receive and make it more difficult to secure justice for your injuries.
Because Pennsylvania law allows riders to voluntarily wear helmets, this is less of an issue than in states that have stricter helmet laws.
Build a strong team to go the distance
Ultimately, no matter what you were wearing or not wearing when your accident occurred, it is important to make sure that you enlist experienced, qualified help from attorneys and medical professionals when building your case. While many attorneys may have experience in personal injury claims, not all of them maintain-house medical consultants to truly understand the nuances of each injury.
With proper legal counsel, coupled with medical diagnosis and care that puts you first, you can rest assured that your claim seeks to find justice and protect your rights.