Injury compensation news
Non-fault road accident victims could be partly to blame
In a precedent setting case, a High Court Judge has ruled that a cyclist who was not wearing a cycle helmet should receive less road accident compensation as a result.
The ruling came in a case where a 29-year-old had been involved in an accident with a speeding motorcycle in Essex in 2005. The cyclist, who was deemed to be not at fault in the cause of the accident, sustained serious brain injury.
Although the excessive speed of the motorcyclist would have rendered a cycle helmet useless, the judge ruled that the cyclist, by not wearing one, was partly to blame in the outcome of the accident.
He said, "There can be no doubt that the failure to wear a helmet may expose the cyclist to risk of greater injury."
The judge added that cyclists, in some cases, could be held partly responsible as "any injury sustained may be the cyclist's own fault".
It is reported that damages for non-helmet wearers hurt in cycle accidents could be cut by up to 15% as a result of this decision, but critics argue that conventional cycle helmets are only of use in low impact accidents and road accident compensation after a high speed crash should not be affected by non-helmet use.