Do You Need a Helmet to Ride a Scooter in California?
Helmet laws are a controversial subject for the riders of motorcycles and motorized scooters alike. Despite extensive evidence the helmets save lives in motorcycle and e-scooter collisions, many riders prefer to avoid the hassle of using them. Until recently, helmets were mandatory for e-scooter riders due to safety concerns. However, state law changed in 2019 to eliminate this requirement.
While no longer mandatory under state law, municipal governments have the right to address helmet regulations. Every city will approach these rules differently, so it is vital that you understand your rights and responsibilities under the law before operating a motorized scooter in California.
Accidents between motorized scooters and automobiles can still occur whether or not you are wearing a helmet. If a negligent motorist is responsible for your injuries, a Los Angeles e-scooter accident lawyer might be able to help.
Prior helmet law
Prior to January 2019, properly-fitted helmets were required for all riders of electronic scooters. This requirement was exclusive to motorized scooters, as standard scooters were exempt. The consequences of not complying with this statute were steep. If you were convicted of riding without a helmet, you faced a fine of up to $200.
Pressure for changing the law began to mount given the rise in popularity of rideshare scooters. Helmet requirements became unwieldy for individuals only using these scooters for a short period of time. This was particularly true for tourist riders that lacked access to helmets.
Changes to helmet laws
In 2018, the legislature passed and the governor signed major changes to the helmet requirement into law. Known as California AB 2989, this legislation removed many of the helmet requirements for e-scooter riders beginning on January 1, 2019.
The new law did not eliminate all helmet requirements. Riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet at all times. This is true not only of e-scooters but of any motorized vehicle. The new state also did not impact the ability of local governments to impose their own helmet restrictions.
How helmets can impact your injury claim
Helmets might not be required under state law, but they are still a good idea. Not only will they protect your health in a crash, but they can also protect your potential monetary recovery from an injury claim.
If you fail to wear a helmet, your injuries are more likely to be severe. More severe injuries typically will lead to higher medical costs. The insurance company for the negligent driver that struck you could make the claim that your failure to wear a helmet is partially responsible for the severity of your injuries. This is known as a failure to mitigate your damages. If a jury determines you failed to mitigate your damages, it could impact the amount of compensation you are entitled to. This is the case even if the other driver was clearly at fault.
Let experienced legal counsel assist you with your e-scooter accident claim
The process of pursuing a personal injury claim after an e-scooter accident is often complex. To ensure you get the most out of your claim and protect your legal rights, it is vital that you speak with an Los Angeles e-scooter accident attorney as soon as possible.
At Ellis Injury Law, we understand the potential for devastating injuries that comes with every e-scooter crash. If you are involved in an e-scooter accident, we look forward to reviewing your case and advising you of your rights. To learn more about your odds of recovery or the litigation process, schedule a free consultation with Ellis Injury Law as soon as possible.