Motorcycle helmet laws vary from state to state. Currently, four U.S. states do not have any restrictions on motorcycle helmets: Colorado, Illinois, Idaho, and New Hampshire. Twenty-one states require all riders, regardless of age, to wear a helmet (Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington), and the rest have helmet laws that vary by age restrictions.
Inter-State Helmet Laws
When a rider takes a journey that encompasses several states, complying with motorcycle helmet laws can become a bit complicated. Some states have a list of approved helmets that comply with their individual laws, others make mention of a list but the list is not complete or current, and others have helmet laws that appear to be in contradiction with federal laws. For this reason, many motorcyclists find the law too confusing and contest a helmet law violation ticket. This is where an attorney’s skill comes into play in deciphering individual laws. If you’ve been cited out of state for a helmet law violation, consult an attorney to see if your case warrants argument in the courts.
While many bikers protest helmet laws as a restriction of their freedom, equally as many proclaim the necessity of helmet wearing. As one motorcyclist put it, “If you value your face and the contents of your skull, put on a helmet.” With the higher likelihood of being involved in a motorcycle accident, many riders opt for the “better safe than sorry approach” to helmet laws. Of course, just like state seat belt laws, choosing to comply is an individual choice and opting for the wind in your hair can result in a citation in many states. Be aware of the laws in each state you choose to ride through.
Helmet Laws and Lawsuits
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained injuries while not wearing a helmet, you may or may not receive a lesser settlement amount. Partial liability on your part decreases the value of your settlement, but it does not release others from their responsibilities in contributing to the cause of your accident. You can still pursue a personal injury suit for your motorcycle accident, even if you were not wearing a helmet.
If you have questions about your helmet law citation or motorcycle accident that occurred while you were not wearing a helmet, call a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers located in Spokane, Tacoma, and Vancouver, WA
*For more information on specific helmet use laws in the United States and best lawyers for motorcycle accidents, visit the National Insurance Institute’s website for detailed information, listed by state.
IF YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IN WASHINGTON – CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!