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What Is The Motorcycle Helmet Law In California?

California Helmet Laws And How It affects Personal Injury Claims

The U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet is a legal requirement for motorcycle riders in California. However, even while the legislation only requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets, the state also suggests that they don goggles or a helmet with a face shield for their eyes. It is also advised to wear a jacket and jeans to prevent road rash and bright clothing to improve visibility.

Aside from the high risk of injury or death, not wearing a helmet might have legal implications should you pursue a California Personal Injury Claim. Here's what our California motorcycle accident lawyers say about it:

California motorcycle accident lawyer

What If I Wasn't Wearing A Helmet During The Accident?

California motorcycle accident lawyers handle each personal injury claim with a unique perspective. After all, not all claims are the same; that's why attorneys assess the client's case before suggesting legal options.

Here are the various scenarios that could happen in a motorcycle accident in California and what you should do when they happen:

Scenario 1: You Wore A Helmet And Didn't Get A Head Injury

Even if you don't believe you have experienced any head trauma, you should still visit a doctor because not all injuries are immediately apparent.

Do note that even if you didn't wear a helmet, you could still collect damages from a negligent party. However, proving to the courts that you were responsible enough to wear a helmet will benefit you more.

Scenario 2: You Didn't Wear A Helmet, And You Did Not Get A Head Injury

As long as you did not sustain head or neck injuries, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your collision is not legally relevant to your case. So, for example, if your personal injury claim pertains to an ankle injury, whether you're wearing a helmet or not is beside the point. This is true even in states where a helmet is mandated by law, like California.

However, you and your California motorcycle accident lawyer will still have a case for compensation if you suffer additional injuries due to your crash.

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Scenario 3: You Used A Helmet And Sustained A Head Injury

Even if you wore a helmet at the time of the accident, you should undoubtedly be compensated if you suffered head or neck injuries. The fact that you wore a helmet might even be used by your California motorcycle accident lawyer to show the court that you were not at fault for the collision.

Scenario 4: You Didn't Wear A Helmet And Got A Head Injury

Getting compensation for your injuries will be very challenging if your state has a helmet law in place and you suffer a head injury without wearing a helmet. Your comparative negligence is established by the fact that you were legally required to wear a helmet by your state but decided not to.

(More on California's comparative negligence law in the next section.)

That said, this might be a complicated scenario, so consult your California motorcycle accident lawyer to know your best options.

What Is California's Pure Comparative Negligence?

Pure comparative negligence is the legal standard in California, which means that both parties' fault is considered when determining who is responsible for paying damages.

Each party is assigned a percentage of guilt under pure comparative negligence, and the amount of their liability determines how much they must pay.

For instance, the rider must pay 30% of the damages if their negligence in not donning a helmet contributed to 30% of their damages. Pure comparative negligence reduces your share of injuries, making wearing a helmet even more critical to your wellness after an accident.

However, just because you were partly to blame does negate your right to collect damages. Hence, you must hire a California motorcycle accident lawyer who can gather evidence and build a solid case to get the most favorable outcome from your personal injury claim.

California motorcycle accident attorney

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