California Motorcycle Helmet Law

Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in California? Read on to learn about California s helmet law how it can affect a motorcycle accident claim

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Are Motorcycle Helmets Needed in California?

Depending on the state of which you are traveling, you can or may not be legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet. It is against the law in California to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Within state borders, motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear helmets at all times. In California, failing to wear a motorcycle helmet can result in a traffic ticket and fine. Violations of California’s helmet rule can also have a detrimental effect on your injury lawsuit after a motorcycle accident.

California Motorcycle Helmet Law

According to California Vehicle Code 27803, motorcycle helmets are a mandatory standard. This legislation requires that all drivers and riders who ride motorcycles or motorized bicycles wear protective helmets that meet state standards. In California, it is illegal to ride a motorcycle without wearing a protective helmet. Wearing a helmet is described by state law as wearing secure headgear that meets federal helmet protection requirements. The helmet must be tightly fitted to the wearer’s head and securely fastened with straps.
Motorcycle helmets are reported to have saved 1,859 lives in a single year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although several reports demonstrate the efficacy of helmets in avoiding fatal head and brain injury, the majority of states do not compel all motorcycle riders to wear them while riding. Many states that have helmet rules permit them only for riders under the age of 18 or 19 or for those that do not have certain forms of protection. California is one of the few states that has enacted a truly uniform helmet statute.
If you ride a motorcycle without a helmet in California, the police will stop you and issue a traffic ticket. Without a helmet, the punishment is a fine of up to $250 per violation. If you were already in violation of another rule at the time of the helmet violation, such as speeding or reckless riding, you could face further penalties. In serious circumstances, law enforcement can seize and imprison your motorcycle.
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Will Failure to Wear a Helmet Impact an Injury Claim?

In California, refusing to wear a motorcycle helmet puts you at risk both physically and legally. By not wearing a helmet, you significantly improve the risk of suffering a major head, brain, face, or neck injury in a motorcycle accident. Additionally, you face the risk of being stopped and cited by a police officer. Another legal consequence of not wearing a helmet is that you can get less compensation – or none at all – for motorcycle accident damages as a result of the infraction. Contravening the California motorcycle helmet law is a legitimate excuse for the courts to limit your compensatory compensation.
In California, the courts authorize the at-fault party, or claimant, to assert the comparative negligence defense in a motorcycle crash case involving a failure to wear a helmet. According to California law, a defendant can compensate a claimant less if the victim caused his or her own injury. If a motorcyclist violated the statute by failing to wear a helmet and sustained injury as a result, the claimant may invoke the comparative responsibility claim. Acceptance of this protection by the judiciary results in the wounded person receiving less money for his or her injury.
California follows a pure comparative negligence standard, which means an affected person will be at fault to any degree – even 99 percent – and still be liable for financial compensation. However, the victim’s allocated amount of responsibility reduces his or her compensatory award proportionately. If not wearing a helmet contributed 25% to the liability for a head injury, for example, you will earn $75,000 rather than $100,000 in a motorcycle accident case. Because of California’s comparative negligence statute, it is critical to retain the services of a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney who will assist you in maximizing your financial recovery. An attorney will assist you in overcoming the comparative negligence defense.

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