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Can the Wrong Helmet Damage Your Bicycle Accident Injury Case?

los angeles bicycle accident  lawyer

If you wear a helmet when you ride a bike, congratulations — your head is now better protected than without. But are you wearing the best helmet for your head? What’s more, if you wind up tangled in a lawsuit after a serious crash, can you prove you took every precaution to protect yourself on your bike?

While you shouldn’t live your life planning on an injury lawsuit, you should certainly take all care to remain safe on your bicycle. Not all helmets are the same, and if you ARE in an accident, it can certainly benefit your case to show that you took every precaution to remain uninjured. It also helps to have qualified bike crash attorneys in Los Angeles on your side.

We know, we know. You don’t think bike helmets are cool. They mess up your hair, they make you sweat, they’re uncomfortable. You may think they’re unnecessary because you’re just going a short distance. We’ve heard all the excuses. Bottom line is, bike helmets save lives and prevent traumatic brain injuries in all ages.

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The Importance of Helmets

That’s why EVERY TIME you head out on a bike ride, whether a few blocks or a few miles, it’s vital to strap on this important piece of protective gear. In 2015 alone, there were nearly 820 bicyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes in this country, an increase from nearly 730 the year before. On top of that, 45,000 bicyclists were injured in 2015. points out that helmet use can lessen the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the chance of head, neck or facial injury by 33 percent. While half the states in this nation have helmet use laws in the books that apply to young bicyclists, none of these laws apply to all riders. Helmets are important for riders of all ages, not just kids. And while it’s great that helmet use in kids is high, thanks to public safety awareness campaigns, it seems that adults aren’t heeding that same advice. In fact, 87 percent of bicyclist deaths involve people over the age of 20. Over the last few years, only 17 percent of fatally-injured bicyclists wore helmets.

This is a number that’s got to change.

Studies show that wearing a helmet can lessen the risk of a serious brain injury and death. This is because, when a fall or collision occurs, most of the impact energy gets absorbed by the helmet, instead of your head or brain. Without a helmet, trauma to the brain can result from an impact, causing a concussion at the very least or an open skull fracture at the worst. Even mild head injuries that don’t cause you to lose consciousness can spur permanent behavioral and cognitive problems. These can include memory loss, inability to concentrate, sleep disorders, permanent disability or death.

Finding the Right Helmet

While wearing a helmet is certainly important, it’s even more important to wear the right helmet. One that is cheaply made, ill-fitting, incorrectly sized or simply old will not provide you with the proper protection on the road. Anything from insufficient cushioning to improper fit can provide riders with a false sense of security.

Here are some tips to choosing the perfect helmet for your head:

  • Get the right kind of helmet: Not all helmets are created equal. Different helmets are designed for different uses. While the goal of each helmet is to protect your head from impact, you need to find one that’s appropriate for the activity you’re engaging in. From road and mountain to trail and aerodynamic, you should match your intended activity with the corresponding helmet.
  • Make sure it fits: Your helmet should feel comfortable but not feel too snug. It should sit evenly atop your head, without moving in any direction. It should also feature a secure buckle that keeps your helmet firmly in place.
  • Don’t buy a size up for your kids’ helmets: While this may be true with clothing, the same can’t be said for helmets. They should fit snugly, without moving when they turn their head side to side. Helmets designed for children or toddlers should have a buckle that will stay fastened during the crash but that will release after a few seconds of steady pull to prevent the potential for strangulation. Toddlers and older children should always wear helmets, but babies under the age of one should not even be on a bicycle at all, even with a parent.
  • Buy new helmets regularly: While some helmets can be used for a few years, once you have been in an impact with a helmet, it’s time to get a new one. Many helmets are manufactured to only withstand one impact, such as a fall onto pavement. You may not think there is a problem because you can’t see the interior damage, but the foam material inside the helmet can get crushed when it absorbs the impact energy during a fall.
  • Obey the rules of the road: Lastly, just because you wear a helmet doesn’t mean you’re immune to danger. Helmets can protect your gray matter from impacts and can even save your life in many instances, but they are not miracle workers. Some crashes are so severe that even a helmet can’t save you. That’s why you need to reduce your risk of head injury by taking precautionary measures while out on your bike. Keep your speed down, obey all posted traffic signs and signals, and be on the lookout for cars, pedestrians, animals, rocks, and uneven pavement that can cause a fall.

The next time you’re in the market for a helmet, be exhaustive in your research before purchasing the best one for you. This decision could save your life. It can also increase your chances of winning a bike injury crash lawsuit if you can prove you were wearing not just a helmet but the right helmet!

Contact Power Legal Group

If you have been in a crash and need assistance getting compensated (helmet or no helmet), call Power Legal Group right now at 800-323-POWER (7693) and get a free consultation from an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles.

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