Many motorcyclists in Los Angeles are aware that California has helmet laws. According to state statutes, you must wear a safety helmet that meets certain standards while operating a motorcycle. So what happens if you are involved in an accident and were not wearing a helmet? Can if affect your ability to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim?

Most often, failing to wear a helmet will not prohibit you from filing a personal injury claim if the accident was caused by another person’s negligence. However, it can affect the amount of compensation you receive.

Personal injury matters are determined based on who was negligent in causing the accident. Because failing to wear a helmet usually is not the cause of an accident, you will likely still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if you suffered severe injuries after your accident.

If it is determined that the other motorist was negligent in causing the accident that led to your injuries, determining an appropriate amount of compensation is the next step. This is where not wearing a helmet can hurt you. If it is determined that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to the severity your injuries, it can limit the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive. At the same time, if not wearing your helmet had no effect on your injuries, it may also have no effect on the amount of compensation you can obtain.

Although this is a brief overview of how not wearing a helmet can impact your personal injury case, it is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you were injured in a serious motorcycle accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can better explain, in detail, how your unique situation may be handled.

Source: FindLaw, “Helmet Laws and Motorcycle Accident Cases,” Accessed April 6, 2015