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It’s proven that wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle can save lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says wearing a motorcycle helmet is 37% effective for riders and 41% for passengers. They also say that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 69%. So it’s no wonder that the State of California has made it mandatory to wear helmets while riding.

However, if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, the motorcycle helmet law may be a factor when filing your claim. An expert motorcycle accident attorney will be able to determine whether the motorcycle helmet law affects your case and advise you on how it may impact your settlement.

What Is the Helmet Law When Riding Your Motorcycle in California?

Riders and passengers must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle in California, but it can’t be just any helmet. The helmet must be certified by the manufacturer that it complies with U.S. DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. 

Certified helmets must display a decal that signifies compliance that you can’t easily remove. This decal distinguishes U.S. DOT-certified helmets from novelty helmets, which don’t contain comparable safety features. Helmets without this decal usually have thin liners and protective padding. Their level of protection is nowhere near the level that certified helmets provide.

Although some types of helmets provide more protection than others, the law allows you to choose a half-shell, three-quarters, or full-face helmet, which offers the best coverage and protection. For any of these helmets to be fully effective, they should feel snug all the way around, have no obvious defects such as cracks, loose padding, or frayed straps, and should be able to be securely fastened on your head when you ride. The helmet will not protect your head if it comes off when you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, not wearing a helmet when you ride, wearing a helmet that’s not U.S. DOT-certified, or wearing a defective helmet can have consequences when filing a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident.

Comparative Negligence Rules in California

Negligence is the primary standard in assigning fault for injuries and damages that need to be repaired. It’s a standard that describes an action that lacks a level of care and caution that a reasonable person would have used in a similar situation.

Some states apply a comparative negligence rule that can influence the amount of damages awarded when you file a personal injury claim. The states that use the pure comparative negligence rule allow you to recover damages no matter the share of negligence you contributed to the cause of your injuries. Other states adopt a modified comparative negligence standard that prevents complainants from recovering damages if they are more than 50% responsible for their injuries.

California has a pure comparative negligence stance on personal injury claims. This standard means that even if you’re found to be more than 50% negligent for your injuries, you can still recover damages. However, the percentage of the damages you receive depends on the share of responsibility you had in causing your injuries. For example, if it is found that you are 30% responsible for your injuries and the other party is 70% liable, you will only be able to recover only 70% of the total damages you are asking for.

If you are in a motorcycle accident and it is found that you weren’t wearing a helmet or using a non-certified or defective helmet, this may contribute to the negligent fault being assigned to you for any head or face injuries you may sustain. And if a percentage of fault is determined, that means less compensation you can recover to repair your injuries fully. That’s why contacting a lawyer is important to address your personal injury claim if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident.

Consult Kash Legal California Personal Injury Attorneys About Your Motorcycle Accident Case

The motorcycle helmet law in California can tremendously impact personal injury claims when you file for damages resulting from a motorcycle accident. However, if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and need to know how it may apply to your case, you’ll want to consult the experienced personal injury attorneys at Kash Legal. They will be able to tell you if the helmet law is a factor in your claim and how it may affect the outcome.

The lawyers at Kash Legal have helped many motorcycle accident victims navigate the legal complexities unique to their cases. They work tirelessly to help get the maximum compensation owed to their clients. If you are injured from a motorcycle accident, Call Kash Legal at (888) 527-4128 or complete our contact form to see how they can help you with your motorcycle accident claim.

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