Because motorcycles are not equipped with airbags, seatbelts, or any of the other safety features you might find in a typical every day commuter car, there is often nothing to protect you from the full force of another vehicle hitting your bike. As a result, many states have put laws into place requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets while riding.
While the state has enacted laws regarding motorcycle helmet use, there are several major exceptions to that law which are worth knowing about in advance. Here is a summary of Lexington motorcycle helmet laws, each aspect of which the best motorcycle accident attorneys can discuss during a free consultation if you are ever injured in a collision.
Every person under the age of 21 who operates or rides on a motorcycle is legally required to always wear a safety helmet while the motorcycle’s engine is on. Additionally, motorcycle operators of any age who are riding with only a permit, as opposed to a full operator’s license, are required to wear helmets. The same is true for riders who have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for less than a full year. However, experienced riders over the age of 21 are not required by law to wear motorcycle helmets at any point while riding around Lexington.
It is worth noting that all motorcycle riders, regardless of their age or experience level, are required to wear some form of eye protection approved by the Transportation Cabinet secretary. They must do so even if they are lawfully riding without a helmet. A helmet with a built-in visor typically meets this requirement, which is codified into state law alongside other rules for motorcycle operation in Kentucky Revised Statutes § 189.285.
Whether required by law or not, wearing a motorcycle helmet while riding in Lexington can significantly reduce a rider’s risk of suffering life-threatening head trauma in an accident. On top of that, wearing a helmet can actually have a significant impact on a rider’s ability to recover financially through a civil lawsuit in the event they get hurt in a wreck.
If someone is legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet and suffers a head injury in a wreck because they were violating that law, a court could consider that to be “comparative fault” for their injury and reduce the total compensation available to them. While this is not as common in situations where the law did not require an injured rider to wear a helmet, it is still a possibility that can be eliminated by wearing a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet.
It is important to understand that liability insurance companies who are responsible for paying claims after an injury occurs are determined to escape from paying any more than they have to. For this reason, a claims adjuster or defense attorney will likely argue that just because the law did not require you to wear a helmet, it would have been more responsible if the rider had been wearing a helmet. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a head injury such as a concussion, open or closed head injury, or a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), you can bet that the liability insurance will attempt to argue that your injuries would not have been as severe had the rider been wearing a helmet.
Unlike in some other states, many motorcycle riders here have the freedom to choose whether to wear a helmet without state law having any say in it. Regardless of your preference, it is important that you know what the Lexington motorcycle helmet laws are so you can avoid the risk of facing fines for failing to follow them. Importantly, you also want to make sure you do not jeopardize your ability to recover the compensation you need after a crash due to common defense tactics and the state’s comparative fault laws surrounding motor vehicle collisions.
If you need assistance with getting paid fairly for losses that you suffered in a motorcycle wreck through no fault of your own, you should make it a priority to contact a top-rated local injury lawyer. Our Lexington office offers free advice and can answer any questions you may have regarding your accident or injuries free of charge. Contact Maze Law Offices today for your free consultation and learn how we can help.