How the Passing of Connecticut House Bill 5255 Could Impact Motorcyclists

Sep 30th, 2022 | Articles

It is no secret that helmets can help prevent serious, life-threatening injuries in motorcycle accidents. However, Connecticut does not have a law in place that requires motorcyclists to wear these devices. This has not stopped politicians from trying to pass legislation that mandates motorcycle helmets—and thanks to House Bill 5255, this rule is coming closer to becoming a reality.

House Bill 5255 to require certain motorcyclists to wear helmets while riding. Motorcyclists may see some unintended impacts with this new law—especially when it comes to filing insurance claims or lawsuits.

What Is Connecticut House Bill 5255?

Connecticut House Bill 5255 is titled An Act Concerning Recommendations by the Department of Transportation and Various Revisions to the Transportation Statutes. One key provision in this bill is a requirement that all motorcyclists under the age of 18 must wear a motorcycle helmet. 

In May 2022, this bill was signed into law by the Governor. The motorcycle helmet provision went into effect on July 1st, 2022. If a child violates this section, he or she will be charged with an infraction and will see a minimum fine of $90.

How Could House Bill 5255 Impact Motorcycle Accident Claims?

Motorcycle helmets can greatly reduce the risk of severe traumatic brain injuries after an accident. However, victims of motorcycle collisions can still suffer from serious injuries like broken bones, concussions, road rash, and more. If a motorcycle accident victim files a claim but was not wearing a helmet at the time, he or she could struggle to recover fair compensation.

Connecticut is a fault-based accident state. If a driver causes a motorcycle accident, the injured motorcyclist has the right to pursue a lawsuit or insurance claim against him or her to recover a settlement for any damages. However, if the insurance company or court discovers that the victim was not wearing a helmet, the motorcyclist’s settlement could be denied or reduced.

Even though adults are not required to wear a helmet, the insurance company may claim that doing so would have prevented certain injuries. It may use this reasoning as justification to reduce or even deny the claim.

During the lawsuit process, Connecticut’s comparative negligence laws will come into play. Under this law, the court will reduce a potential settlement by the amount of liability the plaintiff holds. If the victim is 51% or more at fault, he or she would not recover any financial compensation.

Hire a Connecticut Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Your Claim

Motorcycle accident claims can become extremely complicated, especially if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The passing of House Bill 5255 could have a major impact on your claim, especially if you are a minor under the age of 18 years old. If you find yourself in these situations, you need a lawyer on your side to protect your best interests.

An attorney can argue against accusations of shared liability and fight aggressively for your right to maximum financial compensation. As soon as possible after your accident, contact a New Haven personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options and plan your next steps.