If you are under 18 years of age, section 169.973 of Minnesota’s Statues says that you cannot operate or ride as a passenger on highways or the streets without wearing a motorcycle helmet. It also states that the helmet should comply with the commissioner of public’s safety standards.
More information about the requirements can be found at the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety.
If you are under 18 years of age and you choose to ride a motorcycle helmet, you will be violating the law. If you end up in a traffic accident while riding helmet-free, any personal injury lawsuit that you file may not give you the results you want. This is because even if you were not to blame for the accident in which you suffered head injuries you would have been riding the motorcycle negligently, according to the court. As Minnesota uses the comparative fault rule any settlement that you could have received would be reduced according to the percentage of fault that has been assigned to you by the jury or judge.
Let’s imagine that Katy was riding her motorcycle without a helmet, and Raymond ran a red light, and crashed into Katy. Raymond would have clearly been at-fault for the accident, however, Katy would be found negligent for some of her injuries as she was not wearing a motorcycle helmet. The judge or jury would then decide how much fault they should assign to Katy. Let’s imagine that the jury decided Katy was 20% at fault for the head injuries. If she had have been wearing a helmet she could have received $20,000 in compensation, for example, but as she was assigned 20% of the blame, she will receive 20% less compensation. This means Katy will only come away with $16,000 in compensation.
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