When you want to take on the roadways and beauty of all that California can offer on the back of a motorcycle, you may not want to feel restricted by what you wear. What safety gear is legally required for motorcyclists in Rancho Cordova, and why does it matter? At Triumph Law, P.C., our Rancho Cordova motorcycle accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation from at-fault parties in a motorcycle accident, and it may apply even if you do not have the required safety equipment.
What Are the Laws for Safety Gear for Motorcyclists in California?
California motorcycle safety gear laws are very specific and fall under the State of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. When you obtain a license to operate a motorcycle in the state of California, you are given this information, and by obtaining your license, you agree to follow these rules. However, over time, you may need a refresher on what the state requires.
The most important component under California law is the use of a U.S. Department of Transportation-compliant motorcycle safety helmet. You must wear one at any time when you are riding your motorcycle, according to CVC §27803. The helmet must be certified by the manufacturer that it meets the standards set by the Department of Transportation.
Helmet laws are meant to protect people from some of the most common and devastating types of accidents related to motorcycles – head injuries. If you have a stylish helmet you love, but it does not meet the requirements set under U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, you could face consequences. Take the time to ensure that the manufacturer of your helmet is meeting all of the required safety standards so you are not at risk.
Suggested But Not Required Safety Gear
Under California law, a certified motorcycle helmet is the only required type of safety gear you must wear in the state while you are riding a motorcycle. However, the state does suggest that you also wear protective apparel, including a long-sleeved jacket of some time, reflective material, long pants, face protection, eye protection, and shoes like boots that are closed-toe. These are recommendations and not requirements, though.
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Why Are There Helmet Laws?
Motorcycle helmet laws in California aim to protect people from devastating accidents related to accidents on the roadways. In communicating these laws, the Department of Motor Vehicles sheds some light on statistics that they believe show the importance of helmets. Consider the following as reasons why you may benefit.
- Most riders who are operating a motorcycle under 30 mph may believe they are not at risk, but this is when most accidents in the state occur, not at high speeds.
- Going down the street or around the corner quickly does not make it any safer, as most of the accidents that happen with motorcycles occur on short drives of under 5 miles.
- When a person is going under 30 mph and is involved in a collision, a properly fitting motorcycle helmet may drastically reduce the risk of head injury severity by as much as 50%.
Also, note that it is easy to purchase a helmet and assume it is compliant, only to find out later that it may not be. Some signs to look for are a lack of certification from the manufacturer directly on the product itself (some helmets that are not certified may be sold right alongside those that are). Also, notice that approved helmets tend to be thicker and have interior padding that helps to give them strength and absorbance to reduce the impact of accidents.
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What If You Were in an Accident and Were Not Wearing a Helmet?
If you are in a motorcycle accident in California and the other party is to blame for your losses, but you were not wearing a helmet, you can still recover damages in most situations. You will still need to prove that the other party was to blame for the accident and that the accident caused the injuries and financial loss you have. However, there are often some key limitations that you should know about this case.
There are times when the lack of a motorcycle helmet will impact how much compensation you are eligible for simply because, had you had the helmet on, you may have been less likely to suffer such severity of loss. Often, this means that the amount of money you receive from the accident will be reduced by the portion of fault you had in that accident. Even if you did not cause the accident to occur, the lack of a helmet means you allowed, or were at fault, for the severity of the accident to some degree.
It can be very challenging to prove that a lack of helmet did not impact the outcome of your motorcycle accident unless you had no head injuries to report. However, our motorcycle accident attorney in Rancho Cordova can help you determine what legal strategies may be available to you to help reduce the loss of compensation in a case like this. Every situation is very different, but our experience and dedication to our clients can work to help alleviate many of these types of claims by reducing the compensation you are owed.
How We Prove You Deserve Compensation
When you are in a motorcycle accident and someone else causes damages, filing an insurance claim with the help of a motorcycle accident attorney is key. Let us work to provide evidence that you are not to blame for the incident or your losses. We can work to help lower the level of loss you may face.
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Call Triumph Law, P.C. now to set up a free consultation with our motorcycle accident attorney in Rancho Cordova to learn more about the losses you have. We can also provide more information on the safety gear you are legally required to wear. Call now for a free consultation.