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Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in New York City?

Posted in New York Law on August 11, 2021


It’s extremely important to take all steps to protect yourself and others when operating a motor vehicle in a busy environment such as New York City. This is particularly true if you ride a motorcycle. If you’re involved in a New York City motorcycle accident, you may sustain major injuries.

Wearing your helmet is one way to protect yourself from serious injury during a motorcycle crash. However, you might wonder whether you are legally required to wear a helmet in New York. The following overview will cover what you need to know about this topic.

Is it Legal to Ride a Motorcycle Without a Helmet in New York City?

Motorcycle riders and passengers are required to wear proper helmets and eye protection in New York State. You must also wear a helmet and eye protection while riding a Class A or Class B moped. A helmet that complies with federal and state law will have a US DOT sticker.

If a police officer in New York sees you riding a motorcycle without a helmet, you may face fines up to $100, 30 days in jail, or both.

The Risks of Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet in New York City

You have a much greater likelihood of serious injuries in a motorcycle accident if you are not wearing a helmet. Failure to wear a helmet could even result in fatal injuries.

Not wearing a motorcycle helmet could also limit the amount of compensation you receive after an accident. Ordinarily, you are entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills and others losses after a motorcycle accident. A New York personal injury lawyer can help you by filing an injury claim against the insurance company for the party who caused your accident.

However, New York has a pure comparative fault law. This rule will reduce your damages if you share fault for your accident or injuries. For example, if you have $90,000 in damages but are 20% at fault for your injuries, you could only recover $72,000 (80%).

Failure to wear an approved helmet could increase the severity of your injuries in a motorcycle accident. An insurer could argue that you’re not eligible to receive full compensation because wearing a helmet could have mitigated your damages.

Likewise, not wearing a motorcycle helmet can also have major implications for your loved ones’ legal rights after an accident. If you were killed in a motorcycle accident, your loved ones mighty be able to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit to recover damages. Comparative fault could limit the amount of compensation they recover if you were not wearing a helmet. Depending on the circumstances, the insurer might even deny the claim.

Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle in New York City is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself and your family. Remember to grab yours next time you go out riding.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the NYC personal injury lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #409
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600

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