Motorcycle Accidents and Helmet Use Under Arizona Law

Jody L. Broaddus

Arizona is one of the states that allow motorcyclists over the age of 18 to ride without a helmet. Arizona’s weather and beautiful scenery make riding helmetless highly enticing. Although legal to ride without a helmet, the consequences of not wearing a helmet can be catastrophic if an accident occurs. Given the nature of motorcycling, serious injuries and death can occur from even a minor collision. Moreover, the choice to not wear a motorcycle helmet may adversely impact a claim for injuries, even though Arizona law does not require a helmet.

Currently, under Arizona case law, a helmetless motorcyclist who is injured and brings a claim or lawsuit against the adverse driver may bear consequences from not wearing a helmet when trying to recover damages. For example, under comparative negligence principles, Arizona allows a person who caused an accident to assert the helmetless motorcyclist’s damages should be reduced if there is evidence a helmet may have reduced or prevented the injuries. In other words, a motorcyclist’s ability to recover damages may potentially be diminished if no helmet is worn, even if the adverse driver was fully at fault for causing the accident. This can be devastating for a motorcyclist and his/her family members, especially if the injuries result in a permanent impairment, loss of limb, lost employment, impaired earning capacity, and other types of damages.

The defense of the non-use of a helmet is limited in a civil claim or lawsuit. In this regard, the defense only allows a reduction of damages if a helmet would have mitigated, reduced, or prevented the injuries. Obviously, a helmet would not prevent broken limbs, broken ribs, internal torso injuries, and other injuries unrelated to the head. Thus, the application of the defense of non-use of a helmet, if it applies at all, should be limited to only those head injuries that could have been prevented or mitigated by helmet use. Often, however, expert testimony will be needed to determine what, if any, injuries could be subject to the non-use of a helmet.

In sum, while riding in Arizona without a helmet is legal, a motorcyclist’s ability to recover damages for certain injuries may be impaired if a helmet is not worn. Since the defense of helmet non-use is limited, you should contact an attorney to protect your rights. Be safe!

Lindsay H
Lindsay H
1708629075
My experience with Attorneys For Freedom was exceptional. Andy Marcantel was understanding to my... circumstances and always brought a thoughtful and results-oriented approach. He was amazingly knowledgeable, transparent and respectful. He will tell you exactly what to expect in your situation. It was a relief knowing Andy and his team were in my corner fighting for me every step of the way and getting me the best possible outcome. I am forever grateful to everyone at Attorneys For Freedom.read more
Christopher J.
Christopher J.
1707856832
Had a self defense situation on a late Friday night. Called the emergency hotline and got in touch... with someone right away. Didn't matter how late it was. Once they understood the situation they gave me fantastic advice and steps and where fully prepared to spring into legal action on my behalf if they needed to. Throughly impressed. I'm heading to Chicago for the next month and I feel a lot better doing so with Attorneys For Freedom on my side. Chicago very much is a third world now and if I have to defend myself I can worry about keeping myself alive and safe rather than the legal part of it. I know that for sure.read more
Ricardo F.
Ricardo F.
1706852240
Switched over from USCCA as soon as you went national 👍🏼 Semper Fi
Michael B.
Michael B.
1706667435
My story, I was facing multiple felony charges and a prosecutor who would only settle for time in... prison! I contacted Andy and his team at Attorneys for Freedom and they got to work on my case. I was able to walk away from the courtroom with probation! Fantastic work from these guys! Don't settle for amateurs. Call the BEST!read more
Nathan E.
Nathan E.
1706143239
I was extremely please with Rachel and Vicky! They were easy to talk to, professional and helped me... get all my ducks in a row to get my case dismissed. Very happy with their service!read more
js_loader