Michigan law allows motorcyclists who meet certain requirements to operate without wearing a helmet. When an accident involves a motorcyclist without a helmet, the motorcyclist may sustain injuries that a helmet could have prevented. However, they may still claim compensation.
Can you file a claim for a motorcycle accident if you didn’t wear a helmet?
A motorcyclist may claim no-fault benefits even if they are in violation of mandatory helmet laws at the time of a crash. Michigan Compiled Law § 500.3113 lists circumstances where accident victims cannot claim no-fault benefits. Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet is not an exclusion. Whether or not the motorcyclist is in violation of Michigan law by not wearing a helmet, they may still make a claim for no-fault benefits. However, they may be cited with a civil infraction for failing to comply with Michigan motorcycle laws.
Michigan motorcycle helmet laws and negligence
Even though a motorcyclist who chooses not to wear a helmet may still file a claim, comparative negligence may be an issue. If the law requires the driver to wear the helmet, the insurance company may argue that their damages should be reduced to account for their actions. The purpose of the helmet law is to protect against harm in motorcycle accidents. Therefore, failing to comply with the law may be admissible as strong evidence of negligence. The insurance company may argue that failing to wear a helmet is grounds to reduce or deny compensation.
Understanding motorcycle helmet laws and compensation
Since Michigan amended its motorcycle helmet laws in 2012, riders have had the option to forgo wearing a helmet if they meet certain criteria. Generally, not wearing a helmet does not prevent a victim from claiming no-fault benefits. However, if the rider is in violation of the law by failing to wear a helmet, it may impact the amount of their claim.