Thornton Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Countless studies and practical experience have shown that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle significantly lowers your risk of sustaining serious and potentially fatal head trauma. However, current Colorado state law does not require every single motorcycle operator and passenger to wear a helmet, and a rider’s choice not to wear a helmet can have different implications for civil litigation than choosing not to wear a seatbelt inside a motor vehicle would.
Understanding Thornton motorcycle helmet laws could be a crucial component of effective recovery for your losses after a traumatic accident caused by someone else’s negligence. If you have any questions regarding how these laws may apply to you and what impact they could have on the pursuit of civil compensation, a qualified motorcycle collision lawyer could provide answers during a confidential consultation.
What State Law Says About Motorcycle Helmets
In Colorado, motorcycle riders and passengers over 18 years of age do not have to wear any type of helmet or head protection while riding. However, state law does require that all motorcycle riders wear some type of eye protection, a mandate fulfilled by the visor on a fully enclosed motorcycle helmet. Goggles, eyeglasses with safety glass lenses, and eyeglasses with plastic lenses also meet this requirement, but windshields and windscreens attached to motorcycles notably do not.
Furthermore, all motorcycle operators and passengers in Colorado under 18 years of age are required by law to wear helmets while riding. To meet this requirement, they must wear a helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, a qualification which is generally indicated by a “DOT certified” sticker on the back of the helmet. DOT-approved helmets are tested to absorb impacts of up to 250 times the force of gravity. These are the only motorcycle helmet laws applicable to riders in Thornton.
Does Not Wearing a Helmet Count as Contributory Fault?
In some situations, a defendant in a motorcycle accident lawsuit or settlement demand may try to argue that a plaintiff who was not wearing a helmet while riding their motorcycle is partly or even primarily responsible for any head trauma they experience. If a court were to agree, a motorcycle accident victim could be subject to a reduction in their available compensation or possibly even barred from recovering anything at all, even if another person’s negligence was 100 percent to blame for causing their accident.
Fortunately for motorcycle crash plaintiffs, failure to wear a helmet does not constitute evidence of comparative fault, so long as the choice not to forgo head protection is not in violation of existing state law. This interpretation of Thornton motorcycle helmet laws is a departure from the standard applied to people injured in auto accidents while not wearing seatbelts, in which their failure to follow state law may be held against them as a form of contributory negligence.
A Thornton Attorney Could Explain Motorcycle Helmet Laws in More Detail
Even though the law does not strictly require it for most riders, wearing a helmet is still one of the best ways to reduce the risk of sustaining life-altering harm in a motorcycle accident. It is even more important if you or your passenger are under 18, since Thornton motorcycle helmet laws do require helmet use in those situations.
Either way, guidance from a knowledgeable lawyer could be vital to protecting your interests after an accident caused by another person’s reckless or careless conduct. Call today for a consultation.