Contact us today 408-256-2871
San Jose boasts the perfect climate for bicycling. Unfortunately, enjoying the open air on a bike can quickly become dangerous when others on the road do not pay attention to their surroundings. Wearing a helmet can be the difference between life and death in situations like these. Not only can helmets protect bikers from serious injuries, but whether or not you were wearing one can also affect your legal rights in the event of a crash.
State law is clear about who needs to wear a helmet and the consequences if you do not. If you were involved in a collision and have questions about your rights, a bicycle accident attorney could help. To learn more about how San Jose bicycle helmet laws may affect the damages you could recover, reach out to the seasoned lawyers at Solution Now Law Firm.
The California Vehicle Code Article 4 § 21212a states that all bicyclists under the age of 18 must wear helmets when riding on public roads or bike paths. This law also applies to bicycle passengers in restraining seats attached to the bicycle, roller skaters, people riding on non-motorized scooters, and skateboarders. Helmets must fit properly, be fastened, and bear a manufacturer’s label certifying the helmet’s compliance with the safety standards established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
In San Jose, a bicyclist without a helmet can be fined up to $25 under state law. Parents or legal guardians will be responsible for paying the fine if a minor receives the citation. However, courts can waive this fee if the parent or guardian proves within 120 days of receiving the citation that the child has an approved helmet and has attended a local safety course.
When motorists act recklessly and cause an accident, bicyclists can face devastating consequences. Common injuries that can result from bicycle accidents include:
Under California’s comparative negligence laws, injured bicyclists can always collect compensation after an accident, even if they are found mostly at fault. However, insurance companies or the defendant’s counsel may argue that the bicyclist’s injuries would not have been so severe if they had been wearing a helmet. The jury can assign partial fault to the injured bicyclist for not wearing a helmet and reduce damage awards by this percentage.
Bicyclists who ride responsibly and are injured by negligent drivers deserve compensation to relieve financial burdens during their recovery, even if they were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. A knowledgeable San Jose attorney who understands the ins and outs of helmet laws and could negotiate with defendants and their insurance companies to seek compensation for an injured bicyclist.
When you are injured in a bicycle accident, you may worry that not wearing a helmet could bar you from compensation. Wearing a bicycle helmet saves lives, but not wearing one does not make an accident your fault. While the lack of a helmet could ultimately bring down your total damages award, you could still recover the compensation you need with the help of a tenacious attorney.
Our lawyers are well-versed in San Jose bicycle helmet laws and are ready to fight for you. Call our office today to set up your free case consultation.