There are 13 laws all motorcyclists in Wisconsin need to know

Wisconsin requires all motorists, including motorcyclists, to abide by certain rules of the road. It’s essential to understand these laws for two reasons. First, compliance with these laws may help prevent motorcycle accidents. Then, if an accident does occur, compliance with these laws may help determine who is legally responsible for the crash and who should pay damages.

Wisconsin Motorcycle Riding Laws

In Wisconsin, the law requires:

  • Every operator of a motorcycle to have a Class M motorcycle license or motorcycle instruction permit.
  • All riders under the age of 18 to wear a motorcycle helmet. This includes passengers under the age of 18.
  • All riders under the age of 18 to complete rider education.
  • All motorcycle riders with a learner’s permit or instructional motorcycle permit to wear a helmet.
  • All motorcycle riders to have eye protection, consisting of a windscreen, a helmet shield, glasses, or goggles.
  • All motorcycles that are in use to have a headlight turned on—even during daytime hours.
  • All motorcycles to be equipped with turn signals, one rear-view mirror, and a muffler. Additionally, handlebars may not be more than 30 inches above the seat level.
  • All motorcycles to have a passenger seat and footrest if they will be carrying a second person.
  • All motorcyclists to have accident liability insurance.

Additionally, Wisconsin law allows:

  • Two motorcycles to operate next to each other in the same traffic lane.
  • The use of helmet speakers.
  • Passengers of any age to ride a motorcycle with a licensed driver.
  • Motorcyclists over the age of 18 and those who have a full license to decide for themselves whether or not they want to wear a helmet.

These laws apply to motorcycles that are used on public roads—including interstates, state roads, and local roads. Different laws apply to the off-road use of motorcycles in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Motorcycle Insurance Laws

Wisconsin law requires motorcyclists, like other motorists, to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. In Wisconsin, you should have at least:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage per accident

You may choose to purchase additional insurance to protect your financial interests after a crash.

Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Laws

If a motorcycle crash occurs, the following laws apply:

  • Statute of Limitations. Motorcycle injury victims usually have three years to file a motorcycle accident case in Wisconsin. However, you should not wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire to take action. Instead, you should contact an experienced Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
  • Liability. Wisconsin is an at-fault state. That means that the party that was legally responsible for causing the accident should pay damages to the injured party. Anyone who owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care, and caused your accident injuries by failing to exercise reasonable care may need to pay your damages. You may recover damages even if you were partly at fault for the crash as long as your percentage of fault is less than 51% of the total fault for the crash. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.

All Wisconsin Motorcycle Laws Should Be Considered After a Crash

Motorcycle riding laws may help you prevent crashes, but they won’t prevent other drivers’ negligence from causing dangerous wrecks.

If you’ve been hurt in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, our experienced legal team is here to help you. Our lawyers are also riders. So far, we’ve helped more than 4,000 injured riders make fair recoveries after Wisconsin crashes. Now, we are here to help you.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights, possible recovery, and our Win or It’s Free Guarantee. We would be happy to meet with you in your home or hospital room, by phone or video conference, or in our Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, or Wausau, Wisconsin law office.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham