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California Helmet Requirements for Minors


Has your child suffered a head injury or concussion in a bicycle, skateboarding or rollerblading accident in Santa Monica? One of the first questions that a personal injury attorney will ask you is: was your child wearing a helmet at the time of the accident?


Under California law (Vehicle Code Section 21212), anyone under 18 years of age (a "minor") is required to wear a bicycle helmet while:

  • Operating a bicycle or riding on a bicycle as a passenger
  • Operating a nonmotorized scooter or skateboard, or riding on one as a passenger
  • Wearing in-line skates or roller skates


If your child suffered a head injury while riding a bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades, or scooter, and your child was not wearing a helmet, the outcome of your child's personal injury claim will be affected. The defense will claim that your child was comparatively negligent for not protecting his or her head. Failure to wear a helmet will not prevent you from making a personal injury claim for your child, but it will affect the amount of compensation that your child can recover for injuries that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet.

If it can be shown that another party (a driver, a property owner, the City of Santa Monica) was at fault for causing the accident, the court will apportion a percentage of negligence to both the at-fault party and to the helmet-less child. The amount that your child can recover for his or her head injuries will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to your child.

If your child has been injured in Santa Monica while riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or rollerblades, call our firm for a free consultation with a Santa Monica personal injury lawyer. Our attorneys are very familiar with the California helmet laws. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that our pay is a percentage of what we collect. If we collect nothing, you pay us nothing.

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