For motorcyclists, helmets can save lives. These devices protect the brain and skull from impact during a collision, reducing the risk of traumatic brain damage. In California, wearing a motorcycle helmet is not only important for safety—failure to wear one is also against the law.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet at the time, you could struggle to recover compensation for your injuries. In these situations, it is important to work with a California motorcycle accident attorney who can defend your right to compensation.
Many states don’t require adult motorcyclists to wear a helmet. In the state of California, however, it is illegal for people of all ages to operate a motorcycle without one. All riders and their passengers must wear one of these devices at all times. These requirements are defined under California Vehicle Code 27803.
This helmet must meet safety standards set by the federal Department of Transportation (DOT). Additionally, the helmet must fit properly and be fastened with straps. Failure to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle can result in a fine of up to $250 per offense.
California is a fault-based accident state, which means that injured motorcyclists have the right to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver responsible for a collision. However, motorcyclists are often subject to unfair scrutiny and stereotypes when pursuing this type of accident claim. Failure to wear a helmet can further perpetuate these assumptions.
During the insurance process, the company representative could use this fact as justification to reduce or even deny your award. If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, your case could be subject to a reduction under California’s pure comparative negligence laws.
According to this statute, the court will assign a percentage of the fault to you. Then, it will reduce your award by the percentage of liability that you allegedly share. For example, if you ask for a $40,000 award and the court believes that you were 40% at fault, you would only be able to recover $24,000.
If you are injured in a California motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet at the time, you need an attorney on your side. Motorcyclists face challenges when pursuing any type of injury claim, and failure to wear a helmet could complicate your case.
By hiring an attorney to handle your case, you gain access to an advocate who is highly knowledgeable of the claims process. Your lawyer can guide you through each stage of litigation, gather the evidence you need to prove the at-fault party’s liability, and defend you aggressively against accusations of shared fault.
To protect your case following a motorcycle accident, it is important to remain calm. Do not say anything about the accident or your injuries to the other people involved in the collision. Seek medical attention as soon as possible and collect as much evidence as you can.
Once you receive the care that you need, contact a California motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your next steps.