Bicycle Accident Claims & Helmet Laws in Lakewood

Posted on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024 at 9:32 pm    

Bicycle Accident Claims & Helmet Laws In Lakewood

Bicycle accidents can leave riders with serious injuries, and the presence or absence of a helmet can significantly impact the outcome. If you’ve been in a cycling accident in Lakewood, understanding how helmet use affects your injury claim is crucial, particularly given the Bicycle Accident Helmet Laws in Lakewood. It’s not just about safety precautions; it can also influence the legal proceedings and your ability to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. So, delving into the specifics of helmet regulations and their implications is paramount for anyone navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident in Lakewood.

Impact of helmet use on injury claims

Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries in a bicycle accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by 60% and the risk of brain injury by 58%. However, not wearing a helmet doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t file an injury claim.

In Washington State, the law requires all bicycle riders under 18 to wear a helmet. However, adult riders do not legally have to wear helmets. An adult rider involved in a bicycle accident without a helmet may still have a valid injury claim.

The primary factor in determining the success of your claim is establishing the negligence of the other party involved in the accident. If the other party’s negligence caused your injuries, you can pursue compensation regardless of whether you wore a helmet.

Bicycle accident claims and helmet regulations

When filing a bicycle accident claim in Lakewood, it’s essential to understand the helmet regulations and how they may affect your case. As mentioned, Washington State law requires riders under 18 to wear helmets, but it does not legally obligate adults to do so.

However, some cities and counties in Washington have local ordinances that require all bicycle riders to wear helmets, regardless of age. Lakewood does not have a local ordinance mandating helmet use for adult riders.

If you’re in a bicycle accident in Lakewood and you weren’t wearing a helmet, the insurance company or the at-fault party’s legal team may argue that wearing a helmet would have lessened your injuries. This argument is known as the “helmet defense.”

The helmet defense can potentially reduce the compensation you receive for your injuries. However, it’s important to note that the helmet defense is not always successful. The other party must prove that your lack of helmet use directly contributed to the severity of your injuries.

How not wearing a helmet affects your case

Not wearing a helmet during a bicycle accident can complicate your injury claim, as the other party may use the “helmet defense” to reduce their liability. This defense contends that wearing a helmet would have resulted in less severe injuries for you.

In Lakewood and throughout Washington State, understanding Bicycle Accident Helmet Laws in Lakewood is crucial for adult riders. Despite the absence of a statewide mandate for adult helmet use, utilizing a helmet can still impact your case’s outcome. The success of this defense hinges on the nuances of your situation and the opposing party’s ability to demonstrate the impact of helmet non-usage on your injuries.

Comparative Negligence in Helmet Cases

The principle of comparative negligence becomes relevant when the other party raises the helmet defense. Washington State’s comparative negligence rule dictates that if the court finds you partially at fault for your injuries, it will reduce your compensation by your fault percentage. For example, if the court deems you 30% at fault for your injuries because you didn’t wear a helmet, it will reduce your compensation by 30%.

To counter the helmet defense, your attorney will need to demonstrate that your injuries would have been similar even if you had been wearing a helmet.

Your attorney can argue that the other party’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries, regardless of your helmet use. They will work to show that the other party’s reckless driving, failure to yield, or disregard for traffic laws were the main contributors to the accident.

It’s important to remember that not wearing a helmet does not automatically disqualify you from receiving compensation for your injuries. Your claim’s success relies on the evidence’s strength and your attorney’s skill in negotiation and presentation.

Protecting your rights after a bicycle accident

a bicycle accident lying on the groundTaking steps to protect your rights and strengthen your injury claim after being involved in a bicycle accident in Lakewood is essential. Here are some key actions to take:

  • Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, getting a medical evaluation is crucial. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and prompt medical care can help document your injuries and support your claim.
  • Gather evidence: If possible, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to your bicycle. Collect contact information from witnesses and the other party involved in the accident.
  • Report the accident: File a police report and notify your insurance company about the accident. Be honest about the accident details, but avoid admitting fault or discussing your helmet use until you consult an attorney.
  • Consult with a bicycle accident attorney: An experienced bicycle accident attorney can evaluate your case, advise you on the impact of helmet use on your claim, and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Contact The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs Today

At The Law Offices of Briggs & Briggs, we understand the challenges that bicycle accident victims face, including navigating Bicycle Accident Helmet Laws in Lakewood. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys, Shawn Briggs and Marie Docter, have deep roots in the Puget Sound area and are committed to helping injured cyclists in Lakewood. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident and need guidance on your injury claim, contact our office to schedule a consultation. We’ll work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you navigate the legal process during this difficult time.

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