Driving a motorcycle without a helmet is permitted for some drivers in Ohio. When those who elect to ride their motorcycle sans helmet get into accidents, they find themselves in a potentially more dangerous situation. They may wonder if their decision to go helmetless may cost them when it comes time for compensatory damages to be paid.
Since Ohio has a comparative negligence law on the books, the amount of damages you can collect is not always clear for motorcycle accident victims who chose not to wear a helmet at the time of injury. Seeking damages in this type of situation can be complex and likely is best handled under the guidance of a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Ohio’s Motorcycle Helmet Law
Ohio only requires motorcyclists who are in their first years of having licenses and those under 18 to wear helmets. All passengers of those motorcyclists who are required to wear helmets also must wear them.
Police can issue tickets to those who violate the helmet law. This offense is considered a minor misdemeanor under the law. The grade of the misdemeanor rises if this is not the person’s first offense.
If you do fall into any of the above helmet law categories and another person caused your accident, there is a good chance this will not change the damages you collect. However, Ohio’s comparative negligence law makes the issue more complicated.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Those in Ohio also are bound by its comparative negligence law, which allows those injured to seek damages even if they had some roles in causing their accidents. However, the amount they collect is directly impacted by their percentages of negligence. For example, if you bore 10 percent of the liability for the accident and the damages totaled $30,000, you could only collect $27,000 of the damages due to comparative negligence.
However, if a judge or jury finds that you are 51 percent or more at-fault for the accident, you cannot seek any damages.
If you fall into that below 51 percent category, failing to wear a required helmet likely will not impact whether you can recover damages, but it may impact the final amount you receive. If it is determined that failing to wear a helmet is negligent behavior, then the amount collected may be affected.
Damages Motorcycle Victims May Seek
Victims may collect damages compensate themselves for financial and emotional losses, such as:
- Medical treatment
- Future health care expenses
- Property loss
- Lost earnings and the inability to earn income in the future
- Emotional distress
- Loss of a limb
- Disfigurement or scars
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Consult With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you were not wearing a helmet when you were injured in a motorcycle accident, then contact us at Bressman Law. We understand the nuances surrounding the state’s comparative negligence law, and we can use our knowledge to get you fair compensation.
Call us at 877-538-1116 today to get a free, no-obligation motorcycle accident case evaluation. Let us fight to get you justice.