You’ve likely heard that it’s always wise to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. But did you know that Virginia law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet, regardless of their age? Beyond keeping you safe, this law also plays a critical role in personal injury claims following an accident. Skipping the helmet isn’t just risky; it could also cost you thousands of dollars if you need to file a claim.
Join the Richmond motorcycle accident attorneys at The Johnson Injury Firm to learn how Virginia’s helmet mandate can make or break your personal injury claim.
Virginia’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws Explained
Unlike many safety regulations, Virginia’s motorcycle helmet law is clear and straightforward: All motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet whenever they ride, without exception. Furthermore, motorcycle operators must use a face shield, safety glasses or goggles, or have a windshield installed whenever they ride. Finally, motorcycle safety helmets must meet standards set by one of the following organizations:
- The U.S. Department of Transportation
- The Snell Memorial Foundation
- The American National Standards Institute
Following this law is not only important to avoid breaking the law. Doing so also protects you from traumatic brain injuries. Studies show about 37 percent of motorcycle accident deaths in the U.S. involve head injuries.
How Virginia’s Motorcycle Helmet Law Impacts Personal Injury Claims
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident and weren’t wearing a helmet, you might face a tricky legal situation. The person who injured you and their legal team will almost certainly latch onto this fact and try to use it as evidence of your own negligence.
What does this mean for you? Simply put, they’ll argue that your carelessness contributed to your injuries. In Virginia, that means you would be unable to obtain any compensation at all for your accident-related injuries and losses.
Failing to Wear a Helmet Does Not Necessarily Constitute Negligence
While failing to wear a helmet might seem like an open-and-shut case of negligence, Virginia law provides some wiggle room. According to Virginia’s motorcycle helmet law, not wearing a helmet doesn’t automatically make you negligent in the eyes of the law—also known as “negligence per se.” Negligence per se usually refers to an act that is inherently negligent because it violates a law or statute meant to protect the public. Therefore, this caveat offers a bit of legal cushion for those who find themselves in this unfortunate situation.
The Role of an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
But let’s be honest. Even though the law is somewhat on your side, you don’t want to go this route alone. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can be your best ally in pushing back against allegations of negligence. Your attorney can argue that while you may not have been wearing a helmet, it didn’t contribute to the cause of the accident or the types of injuries you sustained. They can bring in relevant evidence, consult medical professionals, and build a strong case to prove that the absence of a helmet did not impact the accident’s outcome, potentially preserving your settlement amount.
Contact Our Richmond Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
Virginia’s motorcycle helmet law can significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury case. An experienced attorney can help you counter allegations of negligence, ensuring you stand the best chance of receiving the settlement you rightly deserve.
Don’t leave your future to chance. If you or a family member sustained injuries in a Virginia motorcycle accident, let The Johnson Injury Firm help you fight for what you deserve. Call (804) 262-9000 today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.