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Helmets - Contributory negligence case law?

andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
edited January 2015 in Road general
Just before I duck for cover, what is the latest position with not wearing helmets and being involved in a collision suffering injury?

I was recently involved in my first ever T bone incident last Tuesday I suffered some injury I called a law firm having spoken to the 3rd party insurer direct who didn't really want talk to me and was more concerned with their customer damage and their injuries and whether any passengers (in the car)

When I called this high street lawyer one of the first questions they asked me was whether I was wearing a lid, when we met up I asked why they wanted to know this? They said because if I wasn't, I could have any damages awarded reduced by up to 25% for contributory negligence, when I asked if there has been any successful cases, where the damages has been reduced for this, I was informed there are several, but they couldn't think of any at the time. I am not aware that any president has been set in law, other than judges making side comments (which have been subjected to criticism due to lack of evidence) that are not binding or influence the damages awarded, other than Smith? V? A motorist had their prison sentence reduced for death by dangerous driving as the deceased was not wearing a lid(again no evidence to suggested if they had the outcome would have been any different) and this is been appealed, however, as the judge also remarked, no amount of money/prison sentence will replace the tragic loss of life.

Do I need a more specialist lawyer for a fairly simple clear cut case? For the record out of personal choice I was wearing a lid at the time. I don't want start a pro/con emotive debate about helmets per-se and I'm not claiming my injuries are any different to whether I was wearing a lid.



  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,585
    The best people to speak to are the specialist solicitors that advertise in the bike mags or are endorsed by british cycling. If your are a member of British cycling you should be covered anyway if not suggest you join well worth it for the insurance cover alone. You don't need to be a competitive cyclist to join BC either.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Yes as above or use bikeline - they specialise in bike cases as their name implies.
  • motogullmotogull Posts: 325
    If you suffered injuries to your legs, then you will lose nothing. If you suffered injuries to your head but a helmet would have made no difference to those, then you will lose nothing. Rubbish to say a 25% deduction across the board. The driver's insurers will run it irrespective of the facts though.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    I got a wodge of cash as compensation for getting knocked off, whilst not wearing a helmet. As far as I am aware, it made no difference to the amount paid out. No head injuries other than cuts and bruises, just a permanently knackered shoulder.
  • Pedestrians don't wear helmets and neither do car drivers or passengers.
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,224
    When I was doored by a car in 2007 I wasn't asked if I had a helmet on my chin (edge of door ripped my chin open).
    When I was knocked down by an uninsured driver last year as a pedestrian I wasn't asked if I was wearing a helmet.

    I think the lawyers were quoting hearsay and hogwash to the OP.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,191 ... negligence

    Insurance companies don't like to pay out.

    Having a salaried legal team is a fixed cost and therefor it doesn't matter to insurers if their response is slow while tactically delaying progree and therefor payment at every opportunity.

    So add in ambulance chasing solicitors and the adversarial approach our courts take makes for a melting pot of low life scum.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
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