In many cases of motorcycle accidents, drivers in other vehicles are at fault for the damages. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is the negligence of other drivers, who may fail to look out for motorcyclists or exercise proper caution around motorcycles.
It is possible that a person on a motorcycle could be partially at fault for their own injuries that they sustained during a collision. They may not cause the accident, but can cause their injuries to be worse by not taking safety precautions. An example of this is when a motorcyclist does not wear a helmet. This behavior is known to be dangerous, and foregoing a helmet will almost always result in severe injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident. But will going without a helmet affect a motorcyclist’s ability to file an accident claim and recover compensation?
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California
In California, any person who drives a motorcycle or is a passenger on a motorcycle must wear a helmet. There are no exceptions to this rule, and any person who does not comply with the state’s motorcycle laws can face penalties.
Pure Comparative Negligence
By not wearing a helmet, a motorcyclist can impact their motorcycle accident claim. A claim may not necessarily be denied because a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet, but their compensation can be reduced.
California has pure comparative negligence laws in place. Comparative negligence allows the compensation available to an injury victim to be reduced according to their percentage of fault if they are partially liable for an accident.
For example, a motorcyclist may be determined to be 25% at fault for their injuries if they did not wear a helmet. In this case, a $100,000 compensation award would be reduced by 25% and the injury victim would be able to recover $75,000.
Some states bar compensation for injury victims who are over 50% or 51% at fault for an accident. Under California’s pure comparative negligence laws, even people who are 99% at fault for an accident can recover compensation. Of course, compensation will still be reduced accordingly.
Contact Tedford & Associates for answers to all of your motorcycle accident questions. We will help you get started on your case and will guide you through the claims process to recover the compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation with our attorneys, send us a message or call (626) 325-0142.