The Role of The Helmet In A Determination of Damages

Helmets offer a form of protection to all motorcycle riders and to younger bicycle riders. Still, a helmet cannot guard against the development of every type of head injury. That fact allows for the introduction of questions, when the court must determine the damages in the case of an accident that involved a rider on a 2-wheeled vehicle, a rider that was supposed to be wearing some form of head protection.

What the law in Ontario says about helmets

As per injury lawyer in Sarnia, those must be worn by all motorcycle riders. A bicycle rider under the age of 18 is also required to wear a helmet.

The reason for Ontario’s helmet laws:

According to statistics, a helmet’s ability to cover the head lowers injury rates by 67% among the helmet-wearers. That same form of head protection lowers fatalities by 37%.

How the court handles disobedience of the law in a personal injury case?

The court normally reduces the amount of compensation awarded to a plaintiff that has disobeyed the law. The thinking is that such disobedience has increased the plaintiff’s chances for becoming injured. Yet there are times when a lawyer might choose to question the correctness of such thinking.

Reviewing what helmets can and cannot do

The helmet’s ability to cover the head ensures protection against any scrapes or more serious open injuries, that might occur, when the rider on a motorcycle or bicycle gets thrown onto the ground. Still, a helmet cannot protect against the development of a concussion.

If a lawyer’s client has suffered a concussion, and that same client had failed to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, the lawyer might elect to focus on the lack of any linkage between development of a concussion and the absence of a helmet.

The lawyer’s argument could not erase the fact that the client had, indeed, disobeyed the law. Still, it could force the judge to give careful thought to the best way of determining a fair compensation for the plaintiff. To what extent should the plaintiff’s normal compensation be reduced?

Cases such as the one suggested showcase the judge’s ability to determine a case’s outcome. Sometimes a judge must give careful consideration to the significance of the fact that a given plaintiff had failed to don the form of protective gear that was required by law.

This suggested case also calls attention to a weakness in the law. It is one that might be addressed by consulting with helmet-makers. As currently written, the law helps helmet makers to enjoy more profits.

Should the government push for the development of a more effective product? Should it go after the manufacturers, in order to reduce the number of accident-related concussions?