Bicycle Accident Claims & Helmet Laws in Indiana

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Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers

March 02, 2024

Bicycle Accident Claims & Helmet Laws in Indiana

Cycling offers many benefits, promoting physical health, environmental sustainability, and efficient transportation. However, the consequences can be severe for cyclists involved in collisions with motor vehicles. In Indiana, understanding the impact of helmet laws on potential personal injury claims is crucial for injured cyclists seeking compensation.

Does Indiana require bicyclists to wear helmets?

Indiana law does not have a universal bicycle helmet requirement. Some local jurisdictions have ordinances mandating helmet use for children under a certain age, but no statewide regulations exist for adult cyclists. While not illegal, failing to wear a helmet can still affect your bicycle accident claim in Indiana.

How does helmet use impact bicycle accident cases?

Insurance companies look for ways to reduce their financial liability in accident claims. When a bicyclist gets hurt by a negligent driver, the insurer may argue that the cyclist shares the blame for their injuries if they were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The reasoning goes that a “reasonable person” would wear a helmet while cycling to protect themselves in the event of an accident. By not taking this precaution, the insurance company claims the cyclist acted negligently and bears some responsibility for their injuries.

This is a flawed argument for several reasons. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), bicycle helmets primarily protect against head injuries like skull fractures and brain trauma. They do not prevent injuries to other parts of the body, such as broken collarbones, separated shoulders, fractured wrists, facial lacerations, or spinal cord damage. A cyclist not wearing a helmet cyclist who suffers a concussion may have avoided or lessened that specific injury by wearing a helmet. But the helmet would have done nothing to stop their broken arm or road rash.

Additionally, concussions and other head injuries can still occur even when cyclists wear helmets. The impact’s speed, angle, and force all affect whether a helmet can adequately protect the rider’s head. Catastrophic accidents where a car strikes a bicycle at high speed often overwhelm any protection a helmet provides.

Bicycle accident lawyers push back against the insurance company’s attempts to victim-blame the cyclist. Attorneys gather evidence like traffic camera footage, witness statements, and accident reconstructions to show the driver’s negligence caused the crash, regardless of whether the cyclist wore a helmet. They also utilize medical experts to testify that the cyclist’s injuries would have likely occurred even with a helmet, given the severity of the impact.

In cases where a cyclist is not wearing a helmet and they tragically suffer fatal head trauma, lawyers can argue that the rider would have died from their other catastrophic injuries anyway. Blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen or internal bleeding from organ lacerations can kill cyclists even if they avoid head injuries. The key is proving the motorist’s careless actions directly led to the cyclist’s death, not the lack of a helmet.

Wearing a bicycle helmet is always a good idea and can reduce the risk of severe head and brain injuries. But injured cyclists should not let insurance companies bully them out of pursuing legal compensation just because they did not have a helmet on during their accident. An experienced bicycle accident attorney will know how to counter those arguments and show why the driver remains liable. At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have handled many bicycle accident claims and understand what it takes to get our clients the financial recovery they need.

Winning a bicycle accident case when the rider didn’t wear a helmet

Bicycle Accident Claims & Helmet Laws in IndianaWhile riding without a helmet creates challenges for injured cyclists, it does not mean they cannot obtain compensation. Accident reconstruction experts can testify about the mechanics of the crash to show the driver’s negligence. Medical experts can explain how a helmet would not have altered the victim’s injuries. Attorneys versed in bicycle accident claims and helmet regulations know how to make these arguments persuasively.

Get the help you deserve

At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we know that being injured in a bicycle accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. You may face mounting medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and a long road to physical recovery. The last thing you need is an insurance company trying to unfairly pin the blame on you for not wearing a helmet, even if your injuries had nothing to do with head protection.

Our attorneys are committed to standing up for injured cyclists and pushing back against insurance companies that try to exploit the lack of a helmet to minimize their own financial responsibility. We will take the time to listen to your story, understand how the accident has impacted your life, and identify all potential sources of compensation. To schedule your free consultation today, contact us at (219) 286-7361

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