Motorcycle accidents can result in severe injuries and financial burdens for victims. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash in Indiana and were not wearing a helmet, you may wonder if you can still seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
While Indiana does not require adult motorcyclists to wear a helmet when riding, there are still several factors to consider when determining your eligibility for compensation. The best way to understand your situation is by consulting with an Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer from Wagner Reese, who can review your case and develop a strong legal strategy to help ensure you get the compensation you need.
Laws That May Affect Your Claim
Indiana has several laws that may affect your ability to recover compensation or the amount you may receive. These state-level statutes include:
- Motorcycle helmet law: Anyone under 18 or with a motorcycle learner’s permit must wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle in Indiana. This means you cannot be ticketed for not wearing a helmet if you are an adult rider; however, insurance companies can still use this against you when you file a settlement claim for damages.
- Comparative fault: Indiana is a modified comparative fault state, meaning that if you are partially responsible for your injuries due to not wearing a helmet, it could impact the amount you receive. Under modified comparative fault, the court can assign a percentage of fault to you and reduce your damage award by that amount. If the court determines that your fault exceeds the other party’s, you may be barred from receiving a settlement at all.
- Negligence: Even without a helmet, the other party may be entirely or mostly at fault for the accident, allowing you to pursue maximum compensation. You may be able to receive compensation for injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, and damages. This is especially true if your injuries would not have been reduced by wearing a helmet, such as a road rash or a broken arm.
- Insurance coverage: Since Indiana is an at-fault state, you can file a direct claim with the negligent party’s insurer for compensation. However, your settlement may depend on their coverage limits. Indiana requires all motorists to have a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.
How to Maximize Your Claim
You can take several critical steps to maximize your claim after a motorcycle crash in Indiana. To protect your rights to fair compensation, do the following after a collision:
- Seek immediate medical attention: After an accident, seek medical treatment right away, even if your injuries seem minor. Prompt medical documentation can strengthen your claim and provide evidence of your injuries.
- Gather evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. Take photographs of the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, road conditions, skid marks, and other relevant details. Obtain contact information from any witnesses who can provide statements about the accident.
- Report the accident: Contact the local police and report the accident. Ensure that an official accident report is filed, which can serve as valuable evidence when negotiating your claim. You can get a copy of the report from the Indiana state police online by request.
- Consult a personal injury attorney: Seek legal guidance from a qualified personal injury attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents. Our motorcycle accident attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you understand your rights, evaluate the strength of your case, and guide you through the claims process.
- Document your losses: Keep a record of all expenses and losses incurred due to the accident. This may include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses. These records can help ensure you seek appropriate compensation.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash in Indiana without wearing a helmet, understanding your rights and options for seeking a fair settlement is crucial. While not wearing a helmet may impact your claim, it does not automatically disqualify you from receiving compensation.
Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney from Wagner Reese is crucial to navigating motorcycle cases involving complex liability and maximizing your claim. Our attorneys can assess the specifics of your case, explain your legal rights, and develop a winning legal strategy tailored to your case. Contact our legal team today and take the first step towards obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.