The motorcycle helmet laws in Red Bank and throughout the state of Tennessee are strict. Generally, all people must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. However, there are exceptions to this rule that apply under limited circumstances. In addition, state law requires the use of protective eyewear whenever a person is on a motorcycle that does not have a windshield.
These laws can play an important role in personal injury claims seeking compensation after a motorcycle accident. While not wearing a helmet is a personal choice—it is illegal—and defendant drivers may argue that a rider accepted the risks involved in refusing to do so. This could open the door to the argument that a rider is not entitled to full compensation for their losses.
Understanding the Red Bank motorcycle helmet laws is important for people looking to avoid traffic tickets. In addition, it can help people who have suffered injuries in accidents to protect their rights when seeking financial recovery.
The laws that require the wearing of a helmet while on a motorcycle apply to every rider in Red Bank. According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-9-302, all riders, regardless of age, must follow this law. In addition, Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-9-304 says that if the vehicle does not have a windshield, all riders must wear a helmet with a visor or goggles. Violations can result in a traffic stop and the issuance of a ticket. Convictions for violations are Class C misdemeanors. This means that a court may issue a fine of up to $50, impose a jail sentence of up to 30 days, or both.
For all other people, the decision of whether to wear a helmet is a personal choice. However, it is advisable for all riders to make this choice because wearing a helmet has a demonstrable effect in decreasing the number and severity of head injuries that can result from crashes. In many cases, wearing a helmet can even save lives. A seasoned attorney in Red Bank could provide more information about the local motorcycle helmet laws and how they affect riders under most situations.
Riders on motorcycles in Red Bank enjoy the same rights on the road as all other travelers. This includes the right to expect protection from all other motorists and to demand compensation from them when a collision results in an injury.
The fact that a biker was not wearing a helmet does nothing to change this basic premise. However, a lack of a helmet may give defendants an opportunity to argue that a motorcyclist was not taking all appropriate precautions to prevent an injury.
State courts use the concept called modified comparative negligence to assign blame for accidents. This allows defendants to allege that a person’s injuries were due to their own decisions and actions. Refusing to wear a helmet can certainly be an effective argument in these cases. While it is unlikely that this argument will relieve a defendant of all responsibility for a crash, it may lessen the award that a court issues following an accident. As a result, wearing a helmet is the best way to protect one’s legal rights while on a motorcycle in Red Bank.
For the most part, motorcycle riders in Red Bank or elsewhere in the state must wear a helmet. The only exceptions apply to people riding in a funeral procession or parade and when they keep their speed under 30 miles per hour.
However, the question of whether a rider was wearing a helmet may still have an impact on a personal injury claim for compensation following an accident. A refusal to wear a helmet may lead to allegations of acceptance of risk that limits a rider’s damages award. Because of this, we recommend that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet for both safety and legal reasons.
An experienced lawyer could further explain the Red Bank motorcycle helmet laws and how they affect your legal rights during a private consultation. Call today.