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Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle rides along Lake Erie or into rural southern Ohio areas are a great way to enjoy the weather in warmer months. Some bikers may wish to enjoy the open air without protective headgear, and in most circumstances, Ohio law supports the choice to forego a helmet.

Although it is not legally required, wearing a helmet is highly recommended to prevent severe injuries in the event of a crash. However, if you are involved in an accident while biking, a diligent attorney at Tittle & Perlmuter could help you pursue compensation for your losses. A knowledgeable lawyer could help you understand motorcycle helmet laws in Ohio and explain how they may impact your case.

Inexperienced Bikers Must Wear Helmets

Although most motorcyclists can decide whether or not to wear a helmet, some do not have that choice. Ohio Revised Code §4511.53(C)(1) states that people under 18 must wear a helmet approved by the United States Department of Transportation. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

The law also requires helmet use for those with the “novice” designation on their motorcycle license. This designation appears on a biker’s motorcycle license for the first year after they receive it.

Young and novice bikers may transport passengers as long as they are seated in a permanently attached saddle or seat. If the law requires the motorcycle driver to wear a helmet, their passenger also must wear one, regardless of their age or experience.

Is Motorcycling Without a Helmet Considered Negligent?

Information about a motorcyclist’s helmet use may not be used in a civil trial. This is true even if a young or inexperienced biker was riding without a helmet in violation of the law.

However, while a person’s violation of helmet laws or failure to wear protective headgear is not evidence of negligence, it can be construed as an assumption of risk. In that case, the biker might be found responsible for any injuries they suffered due to riding without a helmet.

Going Helmetless Could Limit Damages

Typically, the biker can pursue compensation for all the injuries they suffered in the accident. However, if the motorcyclist sustained injuries that a helmet might have prevented, the driver might argue that they assumed the risk of those particular wounds. If a jury agrees with that argument, the biker might receive a smaller damages award.

In practice, this could prevent a motorcyclist from receiving damages for traumatic brain damage or spinal cord injuries, which often incur the highest medical costs. Riders injured in motorcycle accidents while riding helmetless should contact our seasoned attorneys to fight for compensation and reduce their financial hardships.

Call an Attorney to Learn More about Motorcycle Helmet Laws

There is clear evidence that wearing a helmet helps prevent or reduce bodily harm in a motorcycle collision. Although motorcycle helmet laws support a biker’s choice to ride without protective headgear, that choice might impact their ability to seek compensation for certain injuries.

Whether you were wearing a helmet or not, you have the right to pursue compensation for damages caused by someone else’s negligence. Call the lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter today for patient guidance and persistent legal advocacy.