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How Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect Motorcycle Accident Claims?


If a person is not wearing a helmet and is involved in a motorcycle accident, it is likely that they will sustain severe injuries. The risk of injury due to not wearing a motorcycle helmet is known, but physical harm is not the only damage that going without a helmet can cause. By not wearing a helmet, a person who is injured in a motorcycle accident could also hurt their ability to recover fair compensation.

Tennessee Motorcycle Helmet Laws

In Tennessee, all people who ride on motorcycles are required to wear a helmet — this includes both motorcycle operators and passengers. Additionally, motorcyclists are required to wear protective eye equipment or have a vehicle that is equipped with a windshield. Drivers and passengers who do not obey these laws can be given a ticket and ordered to pay a fine.

Contributory Negligence in Tennessee

Every person who is involved in a motorcycle accident (or any type of motor vehicle collision) in Tennessee will be assigned a degree of fault for the collision. A percentage is given to each party as a way to quantify their liability. The amount of compensation that a person can receive for their damages following a motorcycle accident can be reduced according to their percentage of fault.

For example, if a motorcyclist was speeding and collided with a car, they may be determined as 10% at fault for the accident. If the motorcyclist incurred $10,000 in damages, their compensation would be reduced by 10% and they would receive $9,000. If 2 parties are involved in an accident and they are both equally at fault (i.e. 50%), both parties are barred from recovering compensation.

While a person who is not wearing a helmet may not have caused an accident, they did contribute to increased injury severity for themselves. It is possible they may be determined as partially at fault for this reason, and would therefore have their compensation reduced. The possibility of not wearing a helmet affecting your claim and your compensation depends on the details of your unique situation.

How We Can Help

If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, the Witherington Injury Law legal team can help. We are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve and the care you need.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (615) 697-6503.