July 13, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle couple holding helmets in hands on the road

California is the top state when it comes to motorcyclists. According to World Atlas, there are approximately 800,000 motorcycles registered here – at least 200,000 more than in any other state. For bikers and other motorists, this means accidents are more common and the CA legislature has adopted laws to minimize damage.

Under California law, anyone riding a motorcycle must wear a helmet. What happens if you were not in compliance with the state helmet law when you were injured in a motorcycle crash? It depends on the circumstances.

Recovering damages after a motorcycle accident

Those who are injured by another person’s negligence are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. This means if you were operating a motorcycle and were struck by the negligent driver of another vehicle, that driver would likely be liable for your injuries. However, the amount that you are allowed to recover can be reduced in proportion to your own negligence.

If you suffered a head injury in a motorcycle crash in which you were not wearing a helmet, the other driver may be able to argue that the injury would have been prevented if only you had complied with the helmet law. On the other hand, if your injuries were strictly to limbs or other parts of your body that do not affect your head or neck, a helmet still would not have kept you safe so there may not be a reduction in recovery.

It is not easy to guess what your chances of recovery will be in a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, speak with an experienced attorney who handles the specific type of case in order to receive an informed opinion.

Traumatic brain injuries caused by motorcycle accidents

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when someone experiences a bump or blow to the head that causes an internal injury. TBIs are the leading cause of accidental deaths and motorcycle accidents are the number 2 cause of TBIs in the United States. Sadly, according to national statistics, more than half of all motorcyclists who are admitted to the emergency room with a TBI do not survive the accident.

In some cases, a non-fatal TBI is immediately apparent, but in others it can go undetected while still causing impairment. Additionally, many TBI victims do not follow through with aftercare, increasing the likelihood of complications.

Recover for a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles

A TBI can cost a victim multiple times over, from the initial medical bills to lost wages. When it can be shown that the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, that person may be liable under California law.

If you suffered a TBI or other injury in a motorcycle accident, regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet, speak with a LA motorcycle accident lawyer to find out about your rights. Attorney Sean Salamati fights for the rights of accident victims throughout Southern California and can help you understand your legal options. Call today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Additional motorcycle accident resources:

  1. California Legislative Information, California Vehicle Code Section 27803, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=12.&title=&part=&chapter=5.&article=7.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion, https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/
  3. World Atlas, The Number of Motorcycles by State, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/who-rides-the-most-motorcycles-in-the-us.html