It is beneficial to wear a helmet if you ride a motorcycle in California. In addition to protecting your health, wearing a helmet can help you get the most compensation possible if you file a motorcycle crash claim. In this instance, it also helps to have an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer at your side.
At Triumph Law, P.C., we understand how California’s helmet law applies to motorcycle collision cases. Our Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney can help you seek damages from anyone responsible for your crash, even if you were not wearing a helmet. For more information, please get in touch with us.
You Are Legally Required to Wear a Helmet When You Ride a Motorcycle in California
In California, it is mandatory for anyone who rides a motorcycle to wear a helmet, per CVC §27803. The helmet must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements. It must also have manufacturer-applied DOT lettering on the back, fit snugly, have no cracks or other defects, and be secured properly.
When preparing to ride a motorcycle, it is important to pick up a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear. If a rider chooses not to wear a helmet, they can receive fines of up to $250 and be put on probation that lasts up to one year. Along with this, a rider can suffer a head injury or die if they decide not to wear a helmet and a motorist crashes into them.
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash in which you get hurt due to someone else’s negligence, your decision to wear a helmet can have long-lasting ramifications. If you wore a helmet, you can submit a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and be in a great position to secure the maximum amount of damages. On the other hand, if you were not wearing a helmet, you can still file a claim for compensation, but the defendant may be able to argue that you were negligent.
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You Can Be Held Partly Responsible for Your Motorcycle Crash
California has a “pure comparative negligence” doctrine in place that can impact your motorcycle crash case. With this doctrine, you can be held partially responsible for your motorcycle collision. If this happens, you may receive only a portion of the damages that you initially requested.
For example, a motorist may crash their vehicle into you and your motorcycle. At the time of your accident, you were not wearing a helmet. You suffered an injury and are suing the motorist responsible for your crash.
Even though you suffered broken bones and fractures, the defendant may argue that you were not wearing your helmet, which was a violation of California’s helmet law. The judge or jury may decide to award you damages due in part to the fact that you did not follow this law. Comparatively, if you were wearing your helmet, the defendant cannot use the fact that you violated California’s helmet law, which may lead the judge or jury to award you full damages.
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What It Takes to Get Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash caused by someone who was negligent, do not wait to seek damages. You have up to two years from the date of your injury to pursue compensation in accordance with California’s statute of limitations. You can submit your claim regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet when your accident occurred.
A motorcycle accident lawyer in Sacramento will make sure that your claim is submitted in alignment with the personal injury statute of limitations. They can explain how much compensation you can receive if you suffered a catastrophic injury or any other injuries in a motorcycle crash. Your lawyer will also gather and review evidence with you and craft a compelling argument.
Of course, when you partner with Triumph Law, P.C., we want you to be honest and direct with us. If you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of your crash, our attorney can still help you out. To learn more, please reach out to us.
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It Can Be Beneficial to Accept a Settlement Offer
A motorcycle accident attorney in Sacramento can share their legal knowledge and insights with you. If your attorney is concerned that your decision not to wear a helmet can compromise your case, they will tell you. Your lawyer may ask you to consider a settlement proposal, too.
After you file a motorcycle crash claim, it can take months or years before your case gets to trial. In the meantime, you and the defendant can negotiate a settlement. Your lawyer can keep you up to date if the defendant proposes a settlement, and if this happens, you can decide if it is in your best interests to approve their offer.
Your lawyer wants you to get the best case results. If your lawyer believes that a settlement offer is fair, they may encourage you to approve it. Conversely, if your attorney finds that a settlement is far less than what you could get if you go to trial, they will let you know.
Request the Damages that You Deserve
You may be worried that your decision not to wear a helmet will hurt your chances of getting compensation from anyone who caused your motorcycle crash and injury. If you do not get any compensation, you are solely responsible for all of the costs associated with your injury. Fortunately, you can hire a motorcycle accident lawyer who knows how to help their clients get fair settlements.
If you are uncertain about submitting a motorcycle collision claim, consult with a lawyer. When you do, you can explain that you were not wearing a helmet when your crash occurred and share other details about the incident. The lawyer can then explain how they will approach your case, and you can decide if it is worthwhile to hire this attorney.
The team at Triumph Law, P.C. has more than two decades of personal injury case experience. We can help you submit a motorcycle accident claim against any at-fault parties. To get started or schedule a confidential consultation, please contact us today.