Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in San Diego, CA?
David Muñoz | August 28, 2021 | Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are very vulnerable on the road. If you’re inside a car or truck when an accident occurs, you are protected by the frame of your vehicle. Motorcyclists don’t have this same luxury. Motorcyclists involved in accidents are 27 times more likely to lose their lives than those riding in cars or trucks.
You can guard against accidents by obeying all traffic laws and practicing safe riding habits. This is why you should always wear the necessary protective gear when riding a motorcycle in San Diego, CA (or anywhere else). Wearing a helmet can protect you from serious harm and preserve your right to all your damages after an accident.
You may have questions about whether you’re legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet in San Diego. The answer is “yes.” Keep reading to learn more about California’s laws regarding motorcycle safety gear.
California’s Motorcycle Helmet Law: What You Need to Know
California law requires both motorcyclists and their passengers to wear a helmet while riding in the state. Helmets need to meet certain criteria established under federal law.
If you’re not sure whether a helmet is compliant, check for a US DOT sticker. This sticker confirms a helmet has been approved by the US Department of Transportation.
The Consequences of Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet in San Diego, CA
You may face the following consequences for not wearing a motorcycle helmet in San Diego:
If a police officer sees you riding a motorcycle without a helmet, you may face a fine of up to $250.00. You might also be placed on probation.
Major Injury or Death
It’s not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to throw riders from their bikes. Riders can sustain serious or fatal injuries if their unhelmeted head strikes the road. Riders may sustain a traumatic brain injury. This could result in permanent cognitive, memory, and emotional difficulties.
Wear your helmet to minimize the odds of being seriously injured or killed in an accident.
Difficulty Recovering Compensation
You may be in a motorcycle accident even if you’re a safe and responsible motorist. Remember, you can’t control the decisions others make on the road. There’s always a chance you’ll be injured as the result of someone else’s negligence.
You can potentially recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses by filing a claim against the negligent party’s insurance. However, insurance companies often look for ways to pay claimants as little as possible.
They often argue that a victim is at least partially responsible for their own injuries. California, like many other states, has comparative negligence laws. These laws can influence how much compensation you may recover in the aftermath of an accident.
Under these laws, an injury victim’s compensation can be reduced to account for their role in the accident. If an insurer can demonstrate you are 25% responsible for causing your injuries because you weren’t wearing a helmet, the most you could recover would be 75% of your damages.
An insurer could suggest you would have sustained less severe injuries if you’d taken basic safety steps. Wearing a helmet is one of many steps you can take to maximize your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation after an accident.
You don’t want to give an insurer any leverage. Protect your finances and guard against injury by wearing your helmet at all times on a motorcycle. If you were injured, contact our San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys.