Motorcycle accidents have a reputation for being deadlier than accidents with just passenger vehicles. A biker can only do so much to protect themselves, and wearing a helmet can do more than protect the head. Wearing a helmet can also protect the compensation a victim earns from the accident.
Wearing a helmet can be helpful, but in Michigan, it is not mandatory. There are several conditions a biker must meet to be able to bike without a helmet, including age, experience, and insurance coverage. While it is not illegal to ride without a helmet, it can come with consequences through “comparative negligence.”
What is comparative negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal defense that can reduce the liability a defendant has for an injury. With less liability, they would pay a smaller percentage of the total damages. This defense argues that the plaintiff is partially responsible for the damages they received, so they should be accountable for a portion of the cost of their recovery.
If a biker suffers an accident because of a reckless or negligent driver, they may be able to pursue compensation for the damages. But if they were not wearing a helmet, the plaintiff may try and avoid some of the responsibility of the accident by blaming the biker.
Protect yourself by wearing a helmet
If you meet the qualifications, you can legally ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. If you make this choice, keep in mind that you jeopardize your health and your ability to recover from any injuries you receive. Next time you get on your bike, give a second thought about grabbing your helmet before you go.