Motorcycle helmet laws in California require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. This applies to everyone, regardless of their age. Compliance with this state law is important in ensuring the safety of motorcycle riders on the road and also helps motorcycle accident victims in recovering damages and injury claims. In this post, we highlight both the safety and legal benefits of wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle.
California Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Injury Claims
In this guide:
- Do I Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in California?
- What Is the Penalty for Not Following This Law?
- What Are the Benefits of Wearing A Helmet?
- Would Wearing a Helmet Help Me in My Injury Claim?
- Can I Still File Injury Claim If I Don’t Wear One?
Do I Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in California?
According to the California Vehicle Code, all motorcycle riders, whether drivers or passengers, must wear a safety helmet on the road. The California helmet law specifies that motorcycle helmets should be fastened with helmet straps on the rider’s head and provide a snug fit to the user. The helmet should also comply with the requirements specified by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. If you’re buying a helmet, it’s always best to ask first if the product meets the state’s requirements.
What Is the Penalty for Not Following This Law?
There are different interpretations of the law when it comes to penalties associated with violating California’s helmet law. The California Vehicle Code states that the arresting officer can treat it as a correctable offense. This would only require paying a $10 fine and providing proof of correction.
However, the California Highway Patrol has taken the stance that not wearing a motorcycle helmet is not a correctable offense. In this scenario, the offender may face fines of up to $250 and a one-year probation.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing A Helmet?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the leading cause of motorcycle fatality is head injuries. According to the NHTSA, wearing motorcycle helmets reduces the instances of death by 37%. Also, wearing helmets can prevent injuries to the brain by up to 67%.
Wearing a helmet also has legal benefits that can help you recover head or neck injury claims from a motorcycle accident. Compliance with motorcycle helmet laws in California means you’ll be able to enjoy the protection it provides.
Would Wearing a Helmet Help Me in My Injury Claim?
California follows a pure comparative negligence system for auto accidents, which divides liability among the two parties and allows the defendant to receive compensation by showing that the plaintiff is partly at fault. The amount that plaintiffs may receive could be reduced, depending on the percentage of fault assigned to them.
If you sustain a head or neck injury while wearing a helmet, your chances of getting an injury claim are greatly improved. Even if the other driver claims you’re at fault, wearing a helmet proves you weren’t negligent in worsening the injuries you sustained in the accident. It also shows just how dangerous the other driver’s actions were since you sustained head and/or neck injuries even with the added protection of a helmet.
Can I Still Get an Injury Claim If I Don’t Wear One?
Even if you weren’t wearing a motorcycle helmet during an accident, you may still file a lawsuit and seek injury claims, since comparative negligence allows you to try to prove the other person’s negligence and assign part of the liability to them. However, you may have a hard time with your own claims because of your non-compliance to the state law. Again, not wearing a helmet shows negligence on your part, and because of this negligence, you are, in some capacity, responsible for your injury.
You may be able to get some injury claims even if you don’t wear a helmet, but this will be if your injury does not occur anywhere on your head and neck since these are the body parts that helmets protect.
Here’s a video to explain your chances of getting motorcycle injury claims if you don’t wear a helmet:
Motorcycle helmet laws were crafted and implemented to ensure the safety of motorcycle riders on the road. Motorcycle helmets ensure not just your physical protection, but they also give you the legal benefits that come with it in case of an accident. If you’re a motorcycle driver or passenger in California, be sure to always wear a helmet that meets state requirements.
Have you been involved in a motorcycle accident, and were you able to secure injury claims, if so? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.
If you have been injured in an accident, please call me for free and friendly advice at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400.
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