Who Is Responsible If My Bicycle Helmet Provided Inadequate Protection?

Contact the St. Louis bicycle crash injury attorneys at the Bruning Law Firm today.

Bicycles are unique and classic forms of transportation. There are numerous reasons why people choose to travel via a two wheel, pedal powered form of transportation including the benefit communities receive when there is less cars on the roadways to the benefit cycling does for a person’s physical body. Despite the popularity of bicycles, there are still some people who are skeptical of relying on a bicycle as their form of transportation when there exists such a high risk of injury or death to bicyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study on bicycle and pedestrian safety in 2013 which revealed that over 700 people die while on bikes each year and about 48,000 bicyclists were injured in that same year alone.1 The encouragement to use safety equipment and gear is intended to reduce the number of bicycle-related injuries and fatalities, but when a safety product such as a helmet provides inadequate protection or fails to properly perform, then the responsible parties should be held liable for the resulting injuries and damages.

Helmet Basics: The Importance of Use and the Danger of Inadequate Protection

The use of a safety helmet can be an essential factor in preventing head injuries during a bicycle accident, but a defect in the design or manufacturing of a helmet can actually create an inadequate helmet that may contribute to or exasperate the injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are specific safety standards for bicycle helmets to ensure that the design and structure of the helmet is secure enough to protect the head and prevent the chin strap from loosening and the helmet from coming off during a crash, collision, or fall. A helmet that fails to meet the commission’s safety standards must be recalled. The basic design of a helmet is a two part protective system with an outer hard shell and a softer inner lining designed to prevent the brain from moving violently.2 The inner lining is supposed to function as a cushion to insulate the brain from suffering internal damage from impact or injury caused by violent movements, but when a helmet inadequately protects a bicyclist, then a product liability lawsuit may help to recover compensation for the injury.

Pursuing a Products Liability Lawsuit

In order to file a product liability claim for a defective or inadequate bicycle helmet there are four elements which typically must be proved.3 There must be an actual injury or damage that was suffered. The product must be inadequate due to defect during the design or manufacturing, a lack of proper warnings, or insufficient instructions.4 There must be evidence that the inadequacy or defect was the specific or direct cause of the injury or damages. Lastly, it has to be proven that the injury was sustained when you were using the product in the manner in which it was intended to be used.5 Being able to identify and produce evidence in support of these four elements as well as the specific injuries sustained and circumstances of your accident, will affect your ability to receive compensation for your inadequate or defective helmet.

Contact an Experienced St. Louis Product Liability Lawyer For a Free Consultation

If you have been injured due to a defective or inadequate bicycle helmet it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced product liability attorney who can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your legal rights and interests. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.

References:

  1. http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm
  2. http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/1998/CPSC-Issues-New-Safety-Standard-for-Bike-Helmets/
  3. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/product-liability-faq-29105-html
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.