I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet When I Was Riding My Motorcycle. Can I Still Get Compensated for My Injuries?
Even though it is illegal in California to ride your motorcycle without wearing a helmet, you can still get compensated for your injuries. But if you suffered a head injury, not wearing a helmet makes it much more difficult to get compensated for that head injury. You would have to show that your head injury would have occurred even if you were wearing your helmet.
If you were wearing your helmet and did not suffer a head injury, whether you were wearing your helmet or not does not affect your claim very much. It would still be a good idea to mention it because it would help you prove that you are a responsible person, and in effect a responsible motorcycle rider.
If you were wearing your helmet and did suffer a head injury, you can get compensated for your head injury. This help shows that you were not negligent in contributing to your injury and you should get compensated fully for your head injury, instead of having it reduced by your percentage of negligence because you were not wearing your helmet.
If you were not wearing your helmet, and you did not suffer a head injury, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet has no legal significance. Your negligence in not wearing a helmet did not contribute to any injury, therefore, your compensation should not get reduced at all.
When you ride your motorcycle, please make sure to wear your helmet. It could save your life. Not only is wearing a helmet safer, it is also the law in California.
California Vehicle Code, Division 12, Chapter 5, Article 7, Section 27803:
"(a) A driver and any passenger shall wear a safety helmet meeting requirements established pursuant to Section 27802 when riding on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.
"(b) It is unlawful to operate a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle if the driver or any passenger is not wearing a safety helmet as required by subdivision (a).
"(c) It is unlawful to ride as a passenger on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycles, or motorized bicycle if the driver or any passenger is not wearing a safety helmet as required by subdivision (a).
"(d) This section applies to persons who are riding on motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized bicycles operated on the highways.
"(e) For the purposes of this section, 'wear a safety helmet' or 'wearing a safety helmet' means having a safety helmet meeting the requirements of Section 27802 (see: Standards" below) on the person's head that is fastened with the helmet straps and that is of a size that fits the wearing person's head securely without excessive lateral or vertical movement.
"(f) In enacting this section, it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all persons are provided with an additional safety benefit while operating or riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle."
If you were riding your motorcycle and you suffered a head injury, a car accident attorney can help you win your case.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lem Garcia
West Covina car accident law office, Lem Garcia Law, was opened to give people who were injured in a car accident a place to turn when they need help the most. I am a lifelong resident of West Covina and my goal is to help the area as much as I can. I am the youngest of three boys and the son of an engineer and hairstylist. I went to public schools in West Covina and went to college at Cal Poly Pomona. I went to law school in Western State University College of Law. I believe that by helping injured victims, I am making a difference in their lives.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.