California Motorcycle Accident Helmet Laws
How California Motorcycle Helmet Laws Affect Your Personal Injury Accident Case?
With the rapid growth of motorcyclists on the road in California, the risks of getting into an accident continue to increase. Los Angeles, one of the most popular cities in the state, is known for having aggressive drivers who commit negligent actions to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Unfortunately, their reckless behavior could contribute to a collision. This is primarily why it is heavily encouraged for motorcyclists to wear safety gear when they are riding on the streets of Los Angeles. Even though a motorcycle does not offer the same level of protection as a typical car would, it is still helpful to have on protective gear to reduce the chances of enduring serious injuries or a fatal crash. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our attorneys have years of experience handling personal injury cases involving motorcycle accidents. Below, we will discuss the importance of wearing a helmet, along with how compensation is distributed.
Must I Wear a Helmet for My Motorcycle in California?
In California, it is required for a motorcyclist to have on a fitted helmet when they are on the road. The helmet must apply to the standards and regulations set by California Vehicle Code 21212 (a). Helmets must go through certain requirements before they are allowed to legally be sold to consumers. Listed below are a few conditions that have been established under California law:
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). With regards to the Consumer Product Safety Act, the CPSC requires that a helmet must not have any blinders and cannot block the rider’s view. It also clarifies that the helmet should be attached securely on the head, even in the case of a fall or an accident.
- American Society for Testing Materials. This association tests products for impact, strength, and stability.
- Snell Memorial Foundation. This foundation was founded in 1976 and is known for placing strict requirements for helmet use. Their official website offers a variety of documents for people to learn more detailed information about helmets.
Selling helmets that are not up to industry standard is illegal in the state of California. Wearing an unapproved helmet is not only unsafe, but it exposes you to legal liability.
Liability, Insurance, and Financial Compensation
Determining who is at-fault for causing a crash can be a complicated process. It is highly recommended to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you strengthen your claim before you send it off to the insurance company for investigation. Insurance companies often try to lessen the amount of compensation you actually deserve, which is why it is ideal to have an attorney by your side to prevent that from happening.
When the insurance company starts looking into your claim, they will inspect for specific details on whether you were paying attention to the road, wearing proper safety gear, or committing any negligent actions. There are a variety of other factors that may also contribute to damages and/or injuries from a motorcycle accident, such as uncontrollable circumstances, poor road conditions, street lights, or any other type of outside interference. The outcome of an insurance claim will differ for each individual, which is why there is no exact compensation that can be predicted.
Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident and would like to hold the guilty party responsible, West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for any losses you may have suffered, which include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No fees are required to be paid until we win your case. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling us at (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected].