Minnesota Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Helmet laws in Minnesota only require motorcycle passengers and drivers under 18 and motorcycle operators who lack a full motorcycle license to wear helmets. However, you should still wear a motorcycle helmet to reduce the chances of injury and death. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries from a motorcycle crash, Sieben Polk Law Firm can help determine your legal options.
The helmet law in Minnesota is relatively lax, and only some motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets. However, there are several benefits to always wearing motorcycle helmets. For one, helmets significantly reduce the risks of traumatic brain, neck, or face injuries. They can also help establish that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries and protect passengers if an accident occurs.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a motorcycle accident, Sieben Polk Law Firm is here to help. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can evaluate your case, calculate your damages, file your paperwork, negotiate with the opposing side, and fight for your rights at trial if needed. Book a free consultation to learn how we can help.
Minnesota Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Minnesota does not have strict motorcycle helmet laws. Under the helmet laws in Minnesota, only the following groups must wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet to operate a motorcycle:
Why You Should Still Wear a Motorcycle Helmet
Although Minnesota only requires certain motorcycle riders to wear a motorcycle helmet, you should always wear one whether you’re an operator or a passenger. Wearing a motorcycle helmet always provides many benefits, including the following.
Helmets Significantly Reduce the Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury
People who do not wear a motorcycle helmet are three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries. Such injuries occur when a sudden impact or jolt damages the brain. Traumatic brain injury is one of the most common causes of death and disability in adults and encompasses a wide range of mild to severe injuries that happen to the brain.
Effects of traumatic brain injury may include the following:
Helmets Reduce the Risk of a Severe Neck Injury
Besides traumatic brain injuries, you may also suffer a severe neck injury if you do not wear a helmet. Neck injuries can have many long-term effects, such as:
Helmets Decrease the Risk of Facial Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can cause facial injuries such as broken jawbones, noses, and teeth. In some cases, riders may experience permanent disfigurement, scarring, and emotional trauma from such injuries. Wearing a helmet can decrease the risk of facial injuries.
Wearing a Helmet Can Establish That Another Driver's Negligence Caused Your Injuries
If you are involved in an accident, your decision to wear a motorcycle helmet shows that you took steps to protect yourself and were not responsible for your injuries. Wearing a helmet can also be used to show that the other driver’s negligence was the primary cause of your injuries. If you sustained head injuries despite the helmet, it shows you suffered an injury despite your best efforts to protect yourself.
Helmets Help Protect Your Passengers in a Motorcycle Accident
According to Minnesota law, passengers under 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet for protection. Passengers over 18 should also wear these helmets to protect themselves from potential injuries.
Helmets Help Protect Against Death in an Accident
Lastly, wearing motorcycle helmets can help protect against death in accidents. Without helmets, motorcycle operators and passengers are more likely to sustain severe head and neck injuries that can lead to death or permanent disability.
What Compensation Can I Seek After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the following losses:
Can You File an Injury Claim for a Traumatic Brain Injury If You Did Not Wear a Motorcycle Helmet?
Yes, under Minnesota’s modified comparative negligence law, you can still file an injury claim for a traumatic brain injury if you did not wear a motorcycle helmet. If you are 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
For example, if you were 40 percent at fault, you can still recover 60 percent of your damages. However, you cannot recover compensation if you are over 50 percent at fault.
Talk to Sieben Polk Law Firm’s motorcycle accident lawyers to learn whether you can file an injury claim for your motorcycle injury.
What Is a DOT-approved Helmet?
A Department of Transportation-approved helmet must meet or exceed certain safety standards determined by the United States Department of Transportation. DOT-approved helmets all have an official DOT sticker on the back or on the chin strap. Each DOT helmet also has a certification number that you can verify online.
What Must All Motorcyclists Do in Minnesota?
All motorcyclists must do the following in Minnesota:
What Happens If You Cross State Lines?
When you cross state lines, you must follow the motorcycle helmet or protective headgear laws of the state you’re in. Here is a brief overview of motorcycle helmet laws in states neighboring Minnesota:
How Does Wearing a Helmet Impact Your Ability to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Wearing a helmet can boost your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your losses. Specifically, it can prove that the other driver’s negligence was responsible for your injuries. For example, if you suffered traumatic brain injuries despite wearing a helmet, your lawyer will have an easier time showing that the opposing party was responsible for your injuries.
What Type of Motorcycle Helmet Is Recommended in Minnesota?
Department of Transportation or DOT-approved motorcycle helmets are recommended in Minnesota and nationwide. These helmets meet or exceed the safety standards established by the DOT.
Our Motorcycle Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you or a loved one has experienced undue pain and suffering due to an accident, Sieben Polk Law Firm is here to help. Our experienced Eagan motorcycle accident lawyers deeply understand the legal landscape of the Upper Midwest. We offer individually tailored legal services for motorcycle accident injury, car accident injury, truck accident injury, wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and mesothelioma cases.
To learn more about how we can help, call Sieben Polk Law Firm at 651-437-3148 for a free consultation.