If I wasn't wearing a helmet when injured in a bicycle accident, can I still recover damages?

bike_helmetBicycle helmets may have a reputation for being hot, cumbersome, and uncomfortable, but wearing one dramatically reduces a cyclist's odds of head injuries or death in the event of an accident.

Statisticians from the University of New South Wales in Australia conducted a major study of worldwide bicycle helmet use. The results concluded that wearing a helmet reduces a cyclist's risk of serious head injuries by nearly 70 percent, and fatal head injuries by 65 percent.

Some states have universal helmet laws which require all bicyclists and passengers to wear a helmet, regardless of age. However, despite their proven ability to prevent head injuries and save lives, not all states mandate helmet use. For example, in Pennsylvania, the law only requires cyclists and passengers under the age of 12 to wear a helmet.

If you're over age 12 and hurt in a bicycle accident in the Keystone State, you probably weren't wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and may be wondering how your lack of helmet use might affect a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.

Fortunately, it shouldn't affect your claim at all. Not only is bicycle helmet use not mandated for cyclists and passengers 12 and older, but Pennsylvania Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3510(b) specifically prohibits helmet use from being used as evidence of contributory negligence in a personal injury case. This means bicyclists can still recover damages, even if they weren't wearing helmets.

Consult a Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to collect compensation for damages such as accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. Failing to wear a helmet has no impact on your ability to recover the compensation you deserve.

Do you have questions about an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for a bicycle accident? Contact the bicycle accident attorneys at Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary, no-obligation initial consultation.


Pellegrino Certa
Pittsburgh Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney