For many decades, Kentucky has carried and enforced helmet laws for motorcyclists, requiring those who choose to ride to wear head protection. While most people agree that motorcycle helmets are generally a good idea, not all who ride agree, and some motorcycle riders simply prefer not wearing a helmet.
Is it really that big of a deal to ride without a helmet? What is the worst that can happen if you do? Medically speaking, riding without a helmet is very dangerous. In emergency rooms, the doctors who serve there often refer to motorcycle riders who choose to ride without a helmet “future organ donors.” While this label is pretty grim, it also illustrates just how deadly motorcycle accidents can be if things go badly for the rider.
But, apart from the great danger that riding without a helmet places on the rider, failing to wear a helmet may have other consequences, even if it doesn’t kill or incapacitate the rider in a collision. If you recently experienced a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, you may face significant difficulty obtaining fair compensation from an injury claim.
Injury claims for motorcyclists without helmets
From the perspective of the insurance company, failing to wear a motorcycle helmet while riding is basically like inviting death or serious injury. While many motorcycle riders understand nuances of the experience, such as reduced field of vision while wearing a helmet, insurance companies are only concerned with finding ways to deny full coverage whenever possible.
That being said, failing to wear a helmet doesn’t automatically mean an insurance provider won’t pay for the injuries sustained in an accident. If the injury has little or nothing to do with the rider’s head, then the insurance company has less room to claim that failing to wear a helmet caused the injuries.
If, for instance, you have an accident while riding without a helmet and break your leg, whether or not you wore a helmet at the time is not particularly relevant. Your insurance provider, or the insurer of another driver involved in the accident, may push back and say that it won’t pay your claim because you weren’t wearing your helmet, but this does not hold up to scrutiny.
If the failure to wear a helmet doesn’t play a role in your injury, then the insurer should not consider it when evaluating your claim. However, you still may have to fight for a fair settlement.
Protect yourself with a strong legal strategy
Unfortunately, insurance companies often do whatever they can to avoid paying out the full value of a claim. If you experience a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, make sure to build a strong legal strategy and have a clear understanding of the issues at hand so that you can negotiate a fair settlement and keep your rights protected while you recover from injuries and work towards getting back on the road.