Can I Sue for a Bicycle Accident if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?

You can still sue for a bicycle accident if you were not wearing a helmet. The fact that you rode your bike without a helmet may reduce the amount of financial compensation that you collect in a lawsuit. However, you will still be eligible to file the lawsuit and receive damages. Note that pursuant to Section 1238 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code, if the victim is 14 years of age or younger, failing to wear a helmet will not impact the victim’s ability to collect damages for their injuries.

Why You Can Still Sue Even if You Did Not Wear a Helmet

New York operates under the pure comparative negligence doctrine for personal injuries. You are eligible to file a lawsuit to recover damages stemming from your injuries suffered in a bicycle accident as long as you were not 100 percent responsible for the crash. In other words, you could have been 5 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, or even 99 percent at fault for the accident, yet still receive financial compensation.

For example, if you incurred $2 million in damages in a bicycle accident and are found to have been 90 percent responsible for the crash, you could still net $200,000. Even if you were not wearing a helmet, you could still receive a significant amount of financial compensation to help you and your family recover physically, emotionally, and financially. Our attorneys at Douglas and London recommend that you consult with an experienced NYC bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible following your crash, even if you were not wearing a helmet.

Failing to Wear a Helmet Will Not Automatically Reduce Your Compensation

The amount of financial compensation you receive may be reduced if you were not wearing a helmet—as this may have exacerbated your injuries. For example, if you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it could be found that your injuries or damages would not have been as bad if you had been wearing one. However, if you severely injure both of your legs, which had nothing to do with the absence of a helmet, then your financial compensation may not be affected at all.

Damages You May Pursue in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit

Bicycle accidents can create an immense physical and financial toll on you and your family. In general, the more serious your injuries are, the more your claim may be worth. Here are some of the common types of damages that you may pursue in a bicycle accident lawsuit:

  • All medical costs, such as hospital visits, doctors’ visits, surgeries and procedures, assistive devices, physical therapy, prescription medications, and in-home care
  • Lost wages, or loss of earning capacity– which covers a reduced income caused by the injuries sustained in the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship

Contact us for a free consultation

At Douglas and London, our care, experience, and work ethic are top-notch, and that has resulted in over $18 billion worth of verdicts and settlements on our clients’ behalf. We understand how quickly a serious bicycle accident can turn the victim’s world upside-down, so we work tirelessly to achieve maximum justice and financial compensation for all of our clients.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident in which you were not wearing a helmet, call Douglas and London to schedule a cost-free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in NYC, where you can learn more about your legal rights and your options moving forward. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid unless you get paid.