Can I File a Motorcycle Accident Claim If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?

Posted On April 25, 2024 / By Manning Law / Motorcycle Accidents

Wearing a motorcycle helmet is the most effective way to prevent a serious head or brain injury in a motorcycle crash. However, helmets are not legally required for motorcyclists over the age of 18 in the State of Colorado. If you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of your crash, you can still file a claim with help from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Denver and recover financial compensation for your injuries.

What Is Colorado’s Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Unlike many other states that have passed universal helmet laws requiring all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear helmets, regardless of age and insurance standing, Colorado only requires those 17 and under to wear head protection. 

Any operator or passenger of a motorcycle who is under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while the vehicle is in motion, according to state law. For adults 18 and older, it is legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet in Colorado.

Can Motorcycle Crash Victims Still Recover Compensation if They Weren’t Wearing Helmets?

Most victims who get injured in motorcycle accidents in Colorado maintain eligibility for financial compensation regardless of whether or not they were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. This is because motorcyclists over the age of 18 can decide for themselves whether or not to wear a helmet.

If an adult rider was not legally required to wear a helmet at the time of the accident, the at-fault party (defendant) and his or her insurance company cannot use the helmet defense to avoid liability for damages. If the injured party is under the age of 18 and was unlawfully not wearing a helmet, however, this could give the defense the right to use a lack of helmet wearing against the victim. 

Even if the helmet defense is allowed in a motorcycle accident claim in Colorado, the defendant cannot use this to deny responsibility entirely since the victim’s failure to wear a helmet was not the cause of the crash. The defendant will still be held responsible for his or her percentage of fault for causing the collision.

Common Types of Injuries if a Motorcyclist Does Not Wear a Helmet

One way in which not wearing a helmet could affect your motorcycle accident case is by inflicting more severe injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of a serious head injury by 69 percent and the risk of motorcyclist death by 37 percent. 

If you decline to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, this could lead to injuries such as:

Serious or catastrophic injuries generally inflict greater losses on a victim than minor injuries. This may include costlier medical bills, more significant wage losses, and greater physical pain and emotional distress. For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney to represent you if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle accident.

How to Recover Fair Financial Compensation

Even if you are entitled to full compensation as a motorcycle rider who was not wearing a helmet in Colorado, an insurance company may attempt to use this against you to reduce your payout and protect its own profits. Hiring a personal injury attorney in Denver to represent you during insurance settlement negotiations or a personal injury trial can improve your chances of securing maximum compensation for your injuries, whether or not you were wearing a helmet. 

For more information, contact Manning Law at (720) 515-3191 to request a free consultation.