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Understanding the impact of helmet use on motorcycle crash claims

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motorcycle riders have to have a license and must carry insurance just like any other motorist in Indiana. If they get into a crash, they may rely on insurance to help them cover their costs. The liability insurance system used in Indiana means that the other driver may provide the coverage that reimburses a motorcycle rider for property damage losses and injury-related expenses. A large percentage of motorcycle crashes are the result of other driver’s mistakes rather than something a rider does in traffic.

Many motorcycle riders expect a simple and straightforward claims process if they get hurt in a crash caused by another driver. However, some riders may have more of an uphill battle ahead of them than others. Insurance companies often look at details about a crash in an attempt to mitigate risk. If a rider hurt in a wreck did not have a helmet on, that could complicate the claims process.

Indiana doesn’t technically require helmets

Most motorcycle riders do not have to wear a helmet to comply with the law. Those under the age of 18 and those operating a motorcycle with a learners permit need to wear a helmet. Other motorcycle riders do not.

Even though police officers can’t ticket someone for failing to wear a helmet, insurance companies can point to the lack of a helmet when negotiating a claim. They can assert that the failure to wear a helmet increased someone’s risk of severe injury and contributed to the negative outcome of the crash.

In some cases, insurance companies outright attempt to deny claims because of a rider’s failure to wear a helmet. Other times, the company might offer a paltry settlement amount for a crash that causes catastrophic injuries.

Motorcycle riders coping with major injuries in a crash caused by someone else shouldn’t have to worry about battling an insurance company while they recover from their injuries. They may need assistance negotiating with the insurance company and learning about their rights.

Understanding how certain factors can complicate insurance claims after a motorcycle crash can help people avoid common pitfalls. Failing to wear a helmet does not eliminate someone’s right to compensation, but insurance companies may try to leverage personal decisions during negotiations for the benefit of the company.