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Posted by Michael McGoldrick, Fri Sep 9 2011 at 10:18 am
Not wearing a helmet could have consequences in court cases.
In a recent court case in Britain, compensation awarded to an injured cyclist was reduced by two-thirds because he was not wearing a helmet. Although there may be a lot of differences between this case in the UK and most situations in Canada where cyclists pursue legal action, it could be the beginning of a trend in how courts award compensation for cycling injuries.
This whole issue will raise the question of where to draw the line when deciding that a person is partly responsible for their injuries because he or she failed to wear some sort of protection. For example, will cyclists also get less for a broken leg or a back injury if they are not wearing the appropriate body armor? Will pedestrians receive less compensation for a head injury if they were not wearing a helmet? And what about drivers? Despite all the air bags in today’s cars, I’m sure drivers would suffer less injuries in a serious crash with a four point seatbelt and a full face helmet.