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Can You Still Sue After a Motorcycle Accident if You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet?

— February 16, 2023

According to California law, it is unlawful to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

Most motorcyclists will agree that wearing a helmet is a good idea. Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body, and motorcyclists can easily suffer serious head injuries after being thrown from their vehicles. Brain injuries can leave people with lifelong ailments and disabilities. In addition, many brain injuries can be fatal. But does failing to wear a helmet prevent you from filing a lawsuit after being involved in a motorcycle accident? 

The Dangers of Not Wearing a Helmet

Motorcyclists who choose not to wear helmets expose themselves to considerable risk. In September of 2022, the San Jose Police reported that a motorcyclist had been engaging in reckless maneuvers in a parking lot without wearing a helmet. At one point during these maneuvers, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a wall. This ultimately resulted in the man’s death. 

Are Motorcycle Helmets Mandatory in California?

According to California law, it is unlawful to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. If you are caught without a helmet in the state of California, you may face a fine of up to $250 and up to one year of probation. There are also very specific requirements as to what type of helmet you’re allowed to wear in California, and they must be in proper condition with no defects or cracks. Each helmet must also have a US DOT sticker. 

Can You Still Sue if You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet in a Motorcycle Crash?

It may be more difficult to receive adequate compensation for your motorcycle crash if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. This is because the defendant will almost certainly try to use this against you, claiming that you should shoulder the blame of your own injuries because you failed to wear your helmet.

Woman in shorts leaning on motorcycle; image by Minh1857, via
Woman in shorts leaning on motorcycle; image by Minh1857, via

However, you still have the opportunity to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. This is especially true if your injuries do not affect the head area. For example, you might have suffered a broken leg or arm. Even if you had been wearing a helmet, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the crash. You should also know that California follows a system of “pure comparative negligence,” which means that you can sue even if you were partly responsible for your own injuries. 

Where Can I Find a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in San Jose?

If you’ve been searching for San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers, there are many legal professionals available. These California motorcycle accident lawyers can answer all of your most important questions – including queries related to helmet liability. It’s always a good idea to book your consultation with motorcycle accident lawyers as quickly as possible, as the statute of limitations can prevent you from suing if you wait too long. Reach out to nearby accident lawyers today to get started. 



If you have further questions about this article or legal concerns call 800-672-3103.

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