Bicycle Helmet Injury

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 What are Bicycle Helmet Injuries?

Bicycle helmets are worn in order to protect bicyclists in the event of an accident or fall. Bike helmet users range from young children to adults. Helmets are used in various circumstances, from purely recreational biking to biking in competitive races, mountain biking, touring, and other biking activities. Many states have bicycle helmet laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets while riding.

Generally, bicycle helmets are effective in reducing head injury or the seriousness of injury in bicyclists. They improve the safety of bicycle riding. Reportedly, scientific analysis of the effects of bicycle helmets on serious head injuries and other injuries among cyclists involved in crashes shows that using bicycle helmets reduces head injury significantly.

Such figures as a 48% reduction in head injury, a 60% reduction in serious head injury, and a 53% reduction in traumatic brain injury have been found in reliable studies of the effect of bicycle helmets.

There is no difference in these effects between adult bicyclists and children cyclists. So helmets are equally effective for both groups. The rates at which bicyclists wear helmets were not found to be related to bicycle helmet effectiveness. So, in other words, among bicyclists in states that require helmets, they were as effective as among bicyclists in states that do not require helmets.

Not surprisingly, helmets have been shown to be more effective in crashes that involve a single bicycle than in crashes that involve collisions of a bicycle with a motor vehicle. That is because crashes of a bicycle with a motor vehicle are more severe for the bicyclist.

In summary, the results of reliable studies show that wearing a helmet while cycling is effective in helping to prevent serious injury, especially head injury, and is recommended, especially in conditions in which single-bicycle accidents are more likely, e.g., on slippery or icy roads.

Bicycle helmets are supposed to prevent head injuries such as concussions. However, injuries can still occur even with the use of a helmet. Head trauma, lacerations, skin lesions and burns, and other injuries can often occur while biking with a helmet. Sometimes an injury is caused by a defect in the helmet itself. Injuries that involve the helmet strap and other parts are possible.

Reportedly, helmets that are cheap counterfeits are the major problem regarding bicycle helmet safety. Defective helmets, especially counterfeit ones, do not provide the protection that a well-made helmet provides. Counterfeit helmets do not comply with federal helmet safety standards, so they do not provide the protection they should.

Testing to compare counterfeit helmets with the real deal found that counterfeit helmets break altogether under the stress of an accident or fall. Good-quality helmets do not do this. Counterfeit helmets are more likely not to protect at all against head injury or death from a bicycle accident.

A counterfeit helmet may look just like a good-quality helmet at first glance. However, if it is inspected closely, one may see some key differences between them. The first factor to take note of is the price. If the helmet is exceptionally low priced, it is likely to be a fake. That is what accounts for its cheap pricing.

Additionally, it may not be the best idea to buy a cheap helmet for safety equipment that may protect a person’s life. A person shopping for a bicycle helmet may want to research the cost of a good quality helmet sold by a reputable retailer compared to the prices of the alternatives. The low-cost alternatives are likely counterfeit and far less safe than better-quality ones.

Consumers should also look for safety stickers on a helmet they wish to buy. The counterfeit helmets usually do not have the markings that show their compliance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.

A consumer might also be able to compare the materials used in a counterfeit helmet with those of a real helmet. They may notice that the materials in the counterfeit helmet are thin and lack the proper weight or padding of a real helmet. The sizing chart on the helmet should also be adapted to the U.S. market and not only foreign markets.

Who Can Be Liable for a Bike Helmet Injury?

Defective bicycle helmets are as dangerous as not wearing any helmet at all. Any bicycle helmet that a child wears should comply with federal safety standards. As noted above, reliable scientific studies show that a large number of injuries and deaths from bicycle accidents could be prevented by using a good-quality bicycle helmet.

Depending on the case, different parties might be legally liable for a bicycle helmet injury. In some cases, the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of a bike helmet could be liable under a strict product liability theory if it can be shown that the helmet was defective and the defect caused injury or failed to protect the wearer as promised.

For example, a poorly designed helmet manufactured with cheap materials may crack after a fall, resulting in injury. Or, an injury could be much worse than it might have been if the helmet had performed properly. Or a helmet might break under the stress of a fall because a defect arose during its manufacture. Or labels or instructions for the use of the helmet could be inadequate. Again, whether the defect is in the helmet’s design, manufacture, or marketing, the designer, manufacturer, and distributor can be liable for injuries.

In other cases, some businesses rent bikes and companion equipment such as helmets to consumers. These rental businesses might be liable if their helmets are defective.

Are There Bike Helmet Recalls?

If the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission decides that a particular type or model of bicycle helmet is dangerous, it may issue a bike helmet recall. A product recall happens when a product is taken off the market and removed from stores and other distribution channels to prevent additional harm to consumers. Retailers or distributors who knowingly continue to sell recalled bike helmets may also be liable for injuries under the law of negligence.

What Is the Remedy in a Bicycle Helmet Lawsuit?

Bicycle helmet injuries can be serious and result in long-term injury or medical conditions. In such cases, legal action may be needed to recover losses associated with medical care and other issues.

In most cases, a jury may award compensatory damages to the injured person at the end of a trial. Or, the insurance company of a helmet designer, manufacturer, or distributor may offer a settlement before a lawsuit is filed or at any point in the legal process.

Compensatory damages should cover all of the losses that an injured person has suffered, such as the cost of all medical treatment, lost wages, future wage loss, loss of earning capacity and future medical treatment, and pain and suffering. A class action lawsuit might be possible in the event that many people are harmed similarly by the same helmet model.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Bicycle Helmet Lawsuit?

Bicycle helmet lawsuits can present some challenging issues and require the help of a lawyer. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and your helmet did not perform as promised, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Your lawyer will be able to analyze the facts of your case and determine if the negligence of another person, e.g., a driver, caused the accident in which you were injured. They can also determine if a defect in the helmet caused or contributed to your injury.

Your lawyer can determine whether you have a bike helmet claim and, if so, what kind it is. Your attorney will advise you on how to proceed and represent you both in negotiations or a lawsuit if necessary.


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