The California Rider Legal Review – California Motorcycle Helmet Laws

-Posted On November 17, 2021 In Motorcycle Accidents-

Helmets are very important for motorcycle safety. Motorcyclists lack the same protections as a motor vehicle, and any collisions between the two can be catastrophic. As a result, motorcyclists need as much protection as they can, and helmets play a crucial role.

Not only are helmets effective at preventing serious injuries after a collision—wearing a helmet is required under California motorcycle laws. Failure to wear a helmet could result in hefty fines and make it difficult to recover compensation after an accident.

The Mandatory Helmet Law in California

According to California Vehicle Code Section 27803, all motorcycle drivers and their passengers must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Motorized bicycles and other types of motor-driven cycles are also included under this law. Additionally, it is illegal for passengers to ride on a motorcycle with a driver who is not wearing a helmet, even if they are wearing one.

Penalties for violating California’s mandatory helmet law can be severe. You will likely need to pay a hefty fine up to $250. Additionally, you could face one year of probation.

To comply with this law, you will need to wear a motorcycle helmet that meets minimum safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Helmets that meet DOT standards usually have a sticker that certifies compliance. These minimum requirements are as follows.

  • The helmet weighs at least three pounds.
  • The helmet has study chin straps that are attached to the helmet’s shell with rivets.
  • The helmet has an inner liner that is at least one inch thick. This liner must be made of polystyrene foam.
  • No object or helmet component must not protrude more than two-tenths of an inch rom the helmet’s shell.

How Helmet Violations Could Impact Injury Claims

Choosing not to wear a helmet could impact your ability to recover compensation after a motorcycle accident. California is a fault accident state, requiring at-fault drivers to pay for their victims’ damages following a collision. These losses may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you file an insurance claim or lawsuit against a negligent driver, failure to wear a helmet could affect your claim. The at-fault driver may claim that you broke the law at the time of the accident and that you are partially responsible for your injuries. As a result, the insurance company could use this information as a reason to deny or reduce your claim.

In the courtroom, you may receive less compensation if the court accepts this claim. Under California’s pure comparative negligence laws, the court will reduce your award by the percentage of fault that you allegedly share. If you are assigned 40% of the liability and ask for a $100,000 award, you will only receive $60,000 at the conclusion of a successful claim.

Speak to a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a California motorcycle accident, you need a lawyer on your side. An attorney can help you navigate the accident claim and defend you against accusations of shared liability. Additionally, your lawyer can gather the evidence that you need to prove your right to compensation and secure the settlement you deserve.

As soon as possible following your accident, seek emergency medical attention for your injuries and gather all evidence related to the case. After you receive treatment, contact a California motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your claim.

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