With each passing year, cycling becomes more popular across the country including small cities like Santa Monica. The city has embraced this trend and made cycling within its boundaries a priority and has attempted to make cycling safer for those involved.
One of the problems is that many cyclists—around 50% statewide—don’t wear a helmet even though studies have shown them to reduce injuries by as much as 70%.
California Helmet Law
Cyclists in California are required to wear a helmet only if they are 17 or under, all others can ride without one. If a child is caught cycling in public without one, his or her parent can get a $25 ticket. In most cases, tickets won’t be given out unless there are multiple violations by the same cyclist.
The law attempts to encourage parents of minors to make sure they are wearing their helmets. Even though the law doesn’t require older riders to wear one, the hope is that when they do reach adulthood, they will make the safer choice.
Civil Liability and Helmets in Santa Monica
What about when you’re in an accident and not wearing your helmet? This is a question many people ask once they’ve been hit by a motor vehicle, and the insurance adjuster asked if you were wearing your helmet.
The idea is that if you were wearing one, your injuries might have been lessened or not have happened at all. While it’s debatable if this is true or not, insurance companies and their defense attorneys will bring this up in hopes of getting you to drop or reduce your claim.
The truth is, the law doesn’t require you to wear one, and if you don’t and suffer a head injury, the most important issue will be who was at fault for the accident. If the motor vehicle driver is deemed negligent, then he or she will have to pay you compensation regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet.
If you suffered a head injury and weren’t wearing a helmet, then the law will allow the jury to consider the victim partially negligent which will reduce the award given for your injuries but typically won’t eliminate it.
Northern California’s Bicycle Accident Lawyers.
Bay Area Bicycle Law works with clients all over the State of California and is one of the state’s only personal injury law firms working exclusively with injured cyclists.
We handle cases in your area, and there are many benefits to working with a specialist.
Years of advocacy for bicycle crash victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest. Contact us today for a free consultation.