Motorcyclists in Michigan don’t always have to wear a helmet. Every rider gets to decide for themselves whether they want to wear a helmet when they go out on the road.
To legally operate a motorcycle in Michigan without a helmet, however, the motorcyclist needs to have at least $20,000 in medical coverage for themselves in the event of a crash. They also need to be at least 21 years old. The state also requires that they have had their motorcycle endorsement on their license for 2 years or that they have taken a state-approved course on motorcycle safety. Passengers who are 21 years old also must have $20,000 in medical insurance beyond the motorcycle operator to ride without a helmet.
What happens if you get into a crash without a helmet?
Fault and personal responsibility can play a role in your insurance claim after a collision. When someone else causes a crash, they may have legal liability for the injuries that result. Insurance coverage in Michigan is largely no-fault, although motorcycle insurance is not.
The personal injury protection motorcyclists carry that allows a rider to bypass a helmet will cover some of their medical costs. If the diver of a car or other vehicle is responsible for the crash, the motorcyclist can file a claim against the injury coverage for the other driver. If the driver does not have coverage, there is a state program that can allow motorcyclists to get up to $250,000 in benefits.
Not wearing a helmet could constitute comparative negligence. A driver could argue comparative negligence in court and possibly reduce what compensation a motorcyclist receives in a personal injury lawsuit. Injured bikers may need legal assistance dealing with insurance and the courts if more compensation is necessary.