In theory, whether you were wearing a helmet or not has nothing to do with your driving conduct during an accident.

But, it could have something to do with damages if the other driver and its defense lawyer claims the injuries would not have occurred if you had been wearing a helmet.

Whether this is considered "fault" or "proximate cause" of the injury is often mistaken by courts throughout the state.

Remember, Indiana follows the Modified Comparative Fault law.

If the jury finds the plaintiff (the injured party) to be 50% or less at fault, then the entire damages are reduced by the percentage of fault. This is called the Modified Comparative Fault Rule.

But, whether your injuries would have been prevented by the wearing of a helmet gets more confusing under the law.

In cases involving comparative negligence, the jury determines the percentage of responsibility of each plaintiff, of each defendant, and of other responsible persons (e.g.,employers in workers' compensation subrogation third-party cases). After hearing the evidence, the jury will assign a percentage of responsibility to everyone involved. If the plaintiff is found to be less than 51 percent at fault for causing the accident, his recovery will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault he is found responsible for. For example, if plaintiff is awarded $100,000 in damages and was found to be 20 percent at fault, while two other defendants (Defendant A = 60 percent, Defendant B = 20 percent) are found to be 80 percent at fault in total, the plaintiff would be entitled to recover $80,000, but this begs the question of from whom plaintiff can collect the $80,000.

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