The effectiveness of a helmet in a motorcycle accident is known to be significant. While wearing a helmet is no guarantee of safety, it is important to note that head injuries account for most fatalities in motorcycle accidents and the use of a helmet is likely to result in less serious injuries to the head. According to the Insurance Institute, the use of a helmet is 37 percent effective in preventing the death of a motorcyclist in an accident. The use of a helmet in an accident is 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. Learn more about accident statistics here. However, not all states require that motorcyclists wear helmets. Michigan is one of those lenient states, despite the fact that the lack of a helmet is likely to result in a more serious head injury in the event of an accident.
Michigan law gives the motorcyclists the freedom to determine for themselves whether or not they will wear a helmet while riding. However, there are some limitations. In order for a motorcyclist to legally not wear a helmet, the person must be 21 years of age or older, have at least $20,000 in 1st party medical benefits, and must have either had a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or have passed an approved motorcycle safety course.
The law in Michigan also gives the passenger of motorcycles the choice as to whether or not they will wear a helmet. Once again, the law does provide for some limitations. In order for a passenger to legally be helmet-less, the passenger must be at least 21 years old and have at least $20,000 in 1st party medical benefits in addition to the insurance that is required of the motorcycle driver.
However, the U.S. Department of Transportation still requires that a person under the age of 21 on a motorcycle, while either riding or driving, must wear a helmet. Additionally, the same is true for anyone under the age of 19 years old while operating a moped on a public roadway.
After the Accident
While it is important to wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle, the lack of a helmet will not preclude you from suing for injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident. However, it may preclude you from getting all of the money you might think you deserve. The legal issues are complicated regarding whether or not it was a cause of the injuries or an aggravating factor. Thus, it is important to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side.
If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle or automobile accident, with or without helmet issues, contact the attorneys at the Clark Law Office. Our office has a great deal of experience in dealing with these types of cases and we look forward to hearing from you. We may be able to help you get the money you deserve and come to the best agreement for your wellbeing.