Bicycles have become very popular in the last several years as an alternate form of transportation in dense areas and as a form of recreation as well. With the rise of popularity of bicycles has come a good deal of debate regarding the necessity of wearing a bicycle helmet when riding.
There is no federal law in the United States requiring bike riders to wear helmets. The following states have some legal requirement regarding bike helmets:
Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Most of these mandates are aimed at cyclists under the age of 16, though some are for cyclists under the age of 12, 17, or 18.
There are different sets of laws for motorcycle helmets.
What Is the Penalty for Not Wearing a Helmet?
In most states, the penalty for not wearing a helmet is a ticket and a fine. Many states allow a parent who has been ticketed for their child’s failure to wear a helmet to have the ticket and fine reversed when they prove they have bought a helmet for the child.
Wearing a helmet is only one factor when determining whether liability exists in a bicycle accident. Helmets protect against skull fractures, but whether or not they protect against concussions effectively has recently been challenged. If a child wasn’t wearing a helmet when he or she was hit, and a skull fracture or other preventable head injury resulted, his or her parent bears some responsibility for failing to prevent the injury.
Can I Sue a Manufacturer for a Defective Bike Helmet?
There are many ways for a bike helmet to be defective. The design could be faulty, the materials poor, the manufacturing sloppy, or the product mislabeled. Chin straps that don’t work, shells that crack, or lining that is inadequate also renders the helmet defective.
It is possible to sue a manufacturer for a defective bike helmet if you can prove that the helmet is defective by fault of the manufacturer.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have suffered a head injury because of a faulty bike helmet, you should speak with an personal injury attorney immediately. A lawyer can advise you of your options and help you build the best possible case that fits your circumstances.