If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in the state of Indiana, it is critical that you and your attorney understand the laws concerning the use of motorcycle helmets.
Indiana Helmet Law
Indiana law says that a motorcycle rider who has an endorsement on his license and is over the age of 18 is not required to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Similarly, a motorcycle passenger who is over the age of 18 is not required to wear a helmet either. It’s a personal choice that they’re entitled to make.
Indiana law goes further and says that their decision not to wear a helmet is not to be used against the rider or passenger when assessing fault or blame for injuries they may sustain as a result of a motorcycle accident. Read that sentence again. They cannot lay the blame of the accident or the injuries on you, based on your decision and choice not to wear a helmet.
Insurance companies also frequently want to ignore this law and assess fault or blame for injuries that result in a motorcycle collision when the rider or passenger is not wearing a helmet. It’s important that you understand this law and don’t permit insurance companies to get away with this. If you are not wearing a helmet and you are involved in an accident and sustain injuries, your choice not to wear a helmet plays no part in assessing the cause of the injuries that you may have sustained even if you sustained a head injury in the collision, your choice not to wear a helmet cannot be used against you for that purpose.
You may be traveling on your motorcycle and obeying all the traffic laws when a person driving a Ford-F250 (full-size pick-up truck) changes lanes without seeing you. You see him coming over and swerve to avoid the accident but you lose control due to debris on the side of the road and your bike goes down. Your head hits the concrete and your neck and back are twisted in an unnatural position.
The insurance company may try to lay the responsibility at your feet. They will present the argument that if you had been wearing your helmet, the injury would have been prevented. Don’t let them get away with it. The fact is, you have a right to ride a motorcycle without a helmet in Indiana. Another indisputable act is this; if the driver of the pick-up had not changed lanes into the driver of the motorcycle, the accident would not have happened. It does not matter what he was or was not wearing. The impact of a pick-up truck colliding with him while he was riding his motorcycle caused an accident, which caused injury.
Motorcycle accidents are serious business. Even when you think the injury is minor, they can linger and get progressively worse. It is important to hire an attorney that is experienced in motorcycle accidents and the laws that affect motorcycle riders.
Hiring an attorney is a lot like hiring a doctor. You would not go to a neurosurgeon because you have a sore throat. You go to a doctor that treats the illness you have. All attorneys are not specialists in all areas. An attorney that is operating outside of his professional scope can stumble through this process just enough to give the insurance room to place the blame on the victim.
When you allow your attorney to “do what he thinks is best” companies and happy to walk right through the doors he opens. This means a reduced settlement for you and in some cases, no settlement at all. Do not make this mistake. Take the time to interview your attorney and your evidence. When you go to court, you know are represented by an experienced and highly-rated attorney that is skilled with laws in your state.