Overview of California Bicycle Helmet Laws
California is one of the few states in the USA that mandates the use of helmets while cycling, specifically for minors. The law is aimed at preventing head injuries sustained during bicycle accidents.
The law applies to everyone under the age of 18 years riding a bicycle on any public roadway, bike path, trail, or on public land. Children five years and younger who are bike passengers, either in a trailer or stroller, must also wear a helmet. Those 18 years and older are not required to wear a helmet.
However, wearing a helmet is strongly recommended for cyclists of all ages.
The age group of 10-24 years of age has the highest number of bicycle-related injuries that are treated in US emergency departments (EDs), accounting for almost one-third of all such injuries.
All helmets sold in California must meet the safety standards and guidelines of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Hence, when buying a bike helmet, check that your preferred helmet meets CPSC certification.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Consult the experts at Frantz Law Group to learn more today.
Benefits of Wearing a Bicycle Helmet
Every year in the United States, around 1,000 bicyclists lose their lives, with over 130,000 sustaining injuries from road crashes.
Wearing a bicycle helmet is an essential safety measure every cyclist should take seriously. Not only does it protect from serious head injuries, but it also contributes significantly to overall bicycle safety.
When more cyclists wear helmets, it sends a message to drivers and other road users that riding a bike is a legitimate, safe form of transportation. This improves awareness, respect, and, ultimately, helmet safety.
Wearing a helmet can significantly decrease the chance of sustaining a head injury by 85%, brain injury by 88%, and severe traumatic brain injury by at least 75%. Helmets also provide 65% protection against facial injury in the upper and mid-facial regions.
By wearing a helmet, you also protect your legal rights in case of a bike accident.
In the unfortunate event of a bicycle accident, wearing a helmet can help establish the absence of contributory negligence on your part—enhancing your chances of winning the case or getting a fair settlement.
Complying with California’s bicycle helmet law is vital for your safety and legal rights. It protects you and your loved ones against serious injuries while saving you from legal complications in case of an accident.
Consequences of Not Adhering to Bicycle Helmet Laws
The penalty for violating California’s bike helmet law is $25. The minor’s parent or legal guardian (or both) is liable for paying the fine.
California also offers an alternative — treating the citation as a fix-it ticket.
A parent or a legal guardian can provide proof to the law enforcement agency that issued the citation within 120 days. They must demonstrate that the biker has an approved helmet and has completed a local bicycle safety course—or any related bicycle safety course—as prescribed by the authorities in your jurisdiction.
The citation will not be sent to traffic court, nor will the fine be imposed.
Failing to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle can also have serious legal implications, especially in an accident. If the helmet law has been violated by a bicyclist involved in an accident, the lack of helmet use can be used against them in legal proceedings.
This can impact their ability to recover damages for injuries sustained in the accident and their liability for any injuries caused to others.
Bicycle Accidents and Personal Injury Claims
Bicycle accidents are sadly all too common in the state of California, with thousands of cyclists being injured or killed each year due to negligent or reckless drivers, defective bike parts, or poorly maintained roadways.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents and fatalities include:
- Driver distraction
- Failure to yield to bicyclists
- Unsafe lane changes
- Driving under the influence
If you are involved in a bicycle accident in California, you must understand your legal rights. Under state law, cyclists have the same legal rights and responsibilities as motorists.
You are entitled to seek compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered because of the accident. This may include reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
It’s important to gather evidence, file a police report, and seek timely medical treatment to protect your rights and build a strong personal injury claim.
But navigating the legal process following a bicycle accident can be complex and time-consuming, which is why seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney is often necessary.
The Role of a Law Firm in Bicycle Accident Cases
The role of a law firm in bicycle accident cases cannot be overstated. A law firm specializing in personal injury law can help protect a cyclist’s legal rights after an accident.
A skilled attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and navigate the complex and often confusing claims process. They can build a strong case to secure the full and fair compensation you deserve.
They can thoroughly investigate the incident and advocate for fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At our law firm, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch legal representation for cyclists who have been injured in accidents. From the moment you contact Frantz Law Group, we will work to seek that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Whether negotiating with insurance companies or going to court to fight for your rights, we will be with you every step of the way.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident, You May Be Entitled to Compensation
Bicycle accidents can leave you with serious injuries, including head trauma. You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident.
Frantz Law Group has a proven track record of successfully handling bicycle accident cases. Our personal injury lawyers understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a bicycle accident can take, and we are committed to helping our clients get back on their feet.
Schedule a free consultation and learn about your legal options.