If you were injured in a bicycle accident anywhere in Northern California and were not wearing a helmet, contact us right away for a free consultation. Bay Area Bicycle Law has experience litigating these cases and in most cases you can still be compensated for injuries even if you were not wearing a helmet.
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured bicyclists. Years of advocacy for injured cyclists have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills to handle bicycle accidents cases with the highest level of professional expertise.
What if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 21212, any bicyclist under the age of 18 is required to wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet when riding on any roadway, public bicycle path or trail.
In 2015, California introduced a bill for mandatory helmets for adult cyclists (SB-192). The bill was scaled back, and adults are not required to wear a helmet in California. There is no law requiring anybody over the age of 18 to wear a helmet.
Bicycle Helmets and Comparative Negligence
Unrepresented individuals attempting to file their own injury claim will likely face an insurer who does not want to pay them nearly enough to compensate them for their injuries. If no helmet was worn, this can create issues negotiating a settlement and that the insurance carrier may try and reduce compensation for damages on these grounds.
However, there is a lot of bad information online when it comes to California and comparative negligence. Many people think that whether or not a bicycle crash victim was comparatively negligent depends on the facts of the case and the parts of the body that he or she injured. There is a lot more to it than that.
Bay Area Bicycle Law has seen this before. Here are four arguments we may use to combat allegations of comparative fault due to helmet nonuse:
- Legislative intent. In a vehicle, seatbelts are required, but on a bicycle, helmets are optional. We could argue that it would be inappropriate for a judge or jury to decide that an adult bicyclist had a duty to wear a helmet as the California legislature has already considered and rejected that notion.
- The circumstances. Where did this accident occur? Was someone simply taking their bicycle around the block or to the grocery store half of a mile away? There are many circumstances where many people would not wear a helmet.
- Causation (or lack thereof). The second element of comparative fault is causation. If the defense hasn’t retained an expert qualified to opine on what difference a helmet would have made, we may move to exclude any arguments the defense may make about helmet usage. Plenty of bicyclists are injured even with a helmet on, and the extent to which helmets prevent head injuries is unclear.
- Inequitable results. Compensation for non-head injuries should not be reduced for failure to wear a helmet.
Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law
A claim or lawsuit can be made against any person or entity who caused or contributed to the cause of a bicycle accident. Our knowledgeable and experienced bicycle accident attorneys understand that serious injuries leave bicycle accident victims with significant pain and emotional trauma. If you’ve suffered any type injury as a result of a bicycle crash in or around San Francisco, Oakland, Davis, Sacramento or anywhere in Northern California that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, don’t hesitate to contact our offices by phone or email to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation.
We are the only firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing bicyclists.