California is one of 19 states with a universal helmet law that requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a helmet while the vehicle is in operation, regardless of their age or ability. Some states exempt riders and passengers from wearing a helmet if they're over the age of 21 or have completed an approved safety course. However, in California, anyone driving or riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle must wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant motorcycle safety helmet—no exceptions. Additionally, the helmet must feature certification from the manufacturer stating that it complies with U.S. DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.
Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet in California can have consequences that range from a verbal warning up to a $250 fine. Most importantly, not wearing a helmet can negatively impact any personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit a motorcycle driver or passenger might bring in the event of an accident. California is a comparative negligence state and if a motorcycle driver or passenger wasn't wearing a helmet, it leaves the door open for the opposing party's insurance company or defense attorney to claim that the victim was partially responsible for his own injuries.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damage. Even if you weren't wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, an experienced personal injury trial lawyer can assert arguments to overcome some of the comparative negligence claims raised by the defense.
The seasoned personal injury attorneys at the Inland Empire Law Group have extensive experience helping injured motorcyclists secure the compensation they need and deserve after an accident. If you have questions about your motorcycle accident case, contact us today at (909) 481-0100 or (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We're happy to help you better understand your legal rights, options and rights to compensation.