Motorcyclists face significant risks when they share the roads with other vehicles. Motorcycle accidents can cause multiple types of serious injuries, and in many cases, other drivers are responsible for collisions that injure motorcyclists. However, one issue that may play a role in these cases is the question of whether a motorcyclist was wearing a helmet. Because helmets can protect against brain injuries and other forms of harm, a driver who caused an accident may claim that they were not responsible for the injuries of a motorcyclist who did not use a helmet. In these situations, victims of motorcycle accidents will need to work with an attorney who can ensure that a negligent driver is held liable for their injuries.
Wisconsin Motorcycle Helmet Laws
While the state of Wisconsin encourages motorcycle operators and passengers to wear helmets and use other forms of protection, those who are at least 18 years old are not required to wear a helmet by law. Motorcyclists and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets, and helmets are also mandatory for those who have a motorcycle instruction permit and any passengers they are carrying. Regardless of whether a person is using a helmet, they are required to use eye protection such as goggles, glasses, or a windshield that extends at least 15 inches above a motorcycle’s handlebars.
Liability in Motorcycle Accidents Where a Person Was Not Wearing a Helmet
Most of the time, the question of whether a motorcyclist was wearing a helmet will not play a role in determining who was responsible for causing an accident. In fact, Wisconsin law states that evidence of a person’s use or non-use of a helmet is not admissible in a personal injury lawsuit. A driver who acted negligently, such as by failing to see a motorcycle because they were texting while driving, cannot claim that an accident would not have happened if the motorcyclist had been wearing a helmet.
However, the non-use of a helmet may play a role in the damages that a person is able to recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Even if a driver is at fault for a motorcycle accident, a motorcyclist may be found to be partially responsible for injuries that occurred because they were not wearing a helmet. In these cases, the damages they are awarded will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Contact Our Appleton Motorcycle Crash Attorneys
To ensure that you can successfully recover compensation for a motorcycle accident, you will need to secure representation from an experienced attorney. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we can address issues related to helmet use in your case, and we will work to gather evidence showing that a driver was responsible for a collision, such as testimony from witnesses, security camera footage, and police reports. We will work to hold a negligent driver liable for your injuries and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Green Bay motorcycle accident lawyers by calling 920-739-7366 and scheduling a free consultation.