California is one of 19 states that has a universal helmet law for motorcyclists. All motorcyclists and passengers must wear a motorcycle helmet while riding in California under California Vehicle Code §27803. Even though the state has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law, that does not mean that every person riding a motorcycle obeys the law. If you were injured in a motorcycle helmet and were not wearing a motorcycle helmet, that fact could have a substantial impact on your ability to recover compensation for injuries.
Fault for a Motorcycle Accident
California has a fault-based system for apportioning damages in a motor vehicle accident. The person who causes an accident is liable for damages arising from the accident. Therefore, if another driver caused your motorcycle accident, that driver should be responsible for compensating you for your physical injuries, emotional damages, and financial losses related to the motorcycle accident. However, California’s pure comparative fault laws also impact compensation for an accident claim.
According to the state’s pure comparative fault laws, an accident victim’s compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim for causing the accident. In other words, if a jury were to find that you were 30 percent at fault for the cause of the motorcycle accident, the compensation you should receive for your accident claim would be reduced by 30 percent. If you should receive $100,000 for your injury claim, the most you could receive would be $70,000 if you were 30 percent at fault for causing the accident.
Does Failing to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Factor into Liability for the Accident?
No, failing to wear a motorcycle helmet should not be a factor in determining fault for the cause of the motorcycle crash. Therefore, failing to wear a motorcycle helmet should not impact your recovery for a motorcycle accident in which you had no fault for the cause of the crash.
However, if you suffered head or facial injuries during the crash, your failure to wear a motorcycle helmet could have some impact on the amount of money you receive for your claim. The insurance company will argue that your injuries may not have been as severe had you been wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of the crash. Because all individuals have a duty to mitigate their damages whenever possible, your failure to wear a motorcycle helmet as required by law could be a factor in the case.
An experienced California motorcycle accident attorney will argue that your injuries, including any head or facial injuries, would never have occurred had it not been for the negligence of the other driver.
Contact a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney for More Information
Motorcycle accident claims can be difficult to win. Insurance companies use every available defense to avoid paying a motorcycle accident claim. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, especially if you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet, you need an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney on your side.
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our California motorcycle accident lawyers.