Failing to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Could Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

by cj SEO | September 20th, 2022

Motorcycle accidents are one of the most dreadful accidents you can suffer, especially if you’re not wearing a helmet. Cruising through open roads brings a freedom that many riders enjoy. Unfortunately, that sense of freedom comes with a risk. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Consequently, all motorcyclists need to wear helmets on the road. Although it is not a legal requirement in all states, wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of suffering from a severe brain injury in an accident. If a car driver or another motorcyclist was in the accident, you may need a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento

In 2016, there were 5,286 motorcycle riders killed in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where 94% were riders, while 6% percent were passengers. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself while riding a motorcycle. If you’re a motorcycle rider in Sacramento, failing to wear a helmet could affect your injury case if you’re involved in an accident. However, Berg Injury Lawyers can help handle your motorcycle accident case in Sacramento and throughout Northern California. 

California’s Helmet Law

California’s helmet law protects riders of all ages from severe head injuries. Under the law, all riders must wear a helmet that meets Department of Transportation standards. In fact, according to California Code Section 27803, “a person operating a motorcycle shall wear a safety helmet meeting standards established by the department.” This means the helmet must have a hard outer shell, a padded lining, and straps that secure the helmet in place. Additionally, the law requires that riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet at all times when riding, regardless of whether they are on a public road or private property. The fine for riders who violate the law is up to $250 for the first offense, and for repeat offenders it’s up to $1,000. f

The Case for Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

California’s helmet law is one of the most critical and practical laws. The law requires that all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a DOT-approved helmet while riding. This simple law effectively reduces severe injuries and fatalities in motorcycle accidents. This is true even if you are an experienced rider or only riding for a short distance. While some riders may view helmets as a nuisance, the truth is that they can make a difference in life and death outcomes. In Sacramento alone, there were about 116 traffic accidents involving motorcycles, according to a 2019 report by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Therefore, make the wise choice and wear a helmet to avoid suffering a brain injury.

How Do Motorcycle Helmets Protect You?

Motorcycle helmets protect riders from severe head injuries during a crash. The critical part of a helmet is the outer shell, usually made of rigid polycarbonate plastic. This material can spread the force of an impact over a larger area, helping to prevent penetration. The inner lining of a helmet is typically made of soft foam that helps to cushion the head and absorb energy. In addition, helmets often have a chin strap that helps to keep them securely in place in the event of a collision. By wearing a properly fitting helmet, riders can significantly reduce their risk of suffering a serious head injury in an accident. When choosing a motorcycle helmet, select one that is sized correctly and meets current safety standards. 

What Happens If You Are Injured When Not Wearing a Helmet?

First, insurance companies often view riders who do not wear helmets as more reckless than those who do, especially since it’s illegal in California. Thus, they may be less willing to offer a fair settlement. Additionally, if you file a personal injury lawsuit, the jury may view you as partially at fault for your injuries since you were not wearing a helmet. This could result in a reduction in your damages. 

Nevertheless, California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that you can still recover compensation despite being partially at fault during an accident. As a result, an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer can build a strong case on your behalf and help you recover fair compensation. But, of course, every case is different, and many factors will affect the outcome of your claim.

Things You Can Receive Compensation for Whether You Wear a Helmet or Not

Some of the things you may receive compensation for whether you wear a helmet or not include:

  • Medical expenses: You can receive compensation for all your costs related to the accident, including hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and more.
  • Pain and suffering: With proper representation by a personal injury lawyer, Sacramento residents may get compensation for the physical pain and emotional damage you endured due to your accident.
  • Lost wages: If you can’t work because of your injuries, you can receive compensation for the wages you have lost.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If the accident resulted in a permanent disability that has prevented you from returning to work or achieving the same amount of money as you did before the accident, you could recover compensation for your lost earning capacity.
  • Property damage: You can receive compensation for the damage to your motorcycle and any other property damaged in the accident.

When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

To say the least, the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be tedious. To some extent, it can be more costly than you can imagine. We recommend contacting a personal injury lawyer in case of the following:

  • The other driver was uninsured or underinsured.
  • You were not wearing a helmet at the accident.
  • You suffered severe injuries in the accident.
  • The insurance claim offer is too low.
  • You are unsure of how to handle your claim.

Berg Injury Lawyers Can Help You With Your Sacramento Personal Injury Case

If you or a loved one has injuries from a motorcycle accident, Berg Injury Lawyers is here to help. With more than three decades of experience advocating for the rights of personal injury victims, our attorneys know how to get results. We’re not afraid to take on big insurance providers and will fight tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. We conveniently have offices in Sacramento and other Northern California cities, and we offer a no-fee guarantee.