Injured Without Bike Helmet
If you were riding your bike without a helmet and you were injured in an accident, you should contact a lawyer immediately to help you recover any losses sustained by the incident. There is no state law in California mandating that you (as an adult) are required to wear a helmet while riding your bicycle. However, because wearing bike helmets are considered common-sense, you will need legal help in making a claim for money.
Your legal battle for losses (lost wages, medical bills, etc) is based on the legal construct of “comparative negligence.” The general idea is that both you and the driver of the car that hit you are responsible for the damages and injuries. Comparative negligence implies that because you were not wearing a helmet (by your own choice), you are responsible for your own injuries.
While the majority of helmet studies show that wearing a helmet is critical while riding a motorcycle, the information is less clear about the benefits of a bicycle helmet. This gives your lawyer an opportunity to put the majority of the blame on the driver — and not you. The driver’s insurance company is likely to pressure you into signing away your claims, so make sure you have a lawyer on your side when dealing with any insurance claims, claims adjusters, or legal paperwork.
From a practical point of view, wearing a bike helmet is a good idea. But if you have sustained a head injury from a bike accident, you have a legal right to pursue the driver for his or her fair share of responsibility for the damages to you head and body (and bike).