Motorcycle accidents generally surge in the summer as warmer weather and drier conditions bring more riders onto the road. On average, in July and August six motorcyclists are injured each day in BC, according to ICBC data.
Unfortunately, the summer of 2018 has been particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders, with a barrage of motorcycle accidents across the province leading to 18 deaths in the month of July alone.
Vancouver motorcycle accident lawyers alert to spike in fatalities
Following the alarming spike in motorcyclist deaths, the BC Coroners Service issued a reminder to all road users to be cautious over the Labour Day weekend, given the expected increase in activity on BC roads and highways. ICBC also weighed in, strongly encouraging motorcyclists to keep within posted speed limits at all times and to wear full protective gear to protect themselves from personal injury in the event of a motorcycle accident. In light of the spike in motorcycle accidents, the Vancouver lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company decided that now would be an appropriate time to discuss the dangers of not wearing a very important piece of protective gear: an approved motorcycle helmet.
Vancouver lawyers on motorcycle accidents and helmet use
As we have outlined in our blog about motorcycle laws in BC, the law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets that meet safety industry standards (see here for ICBC’s quick reference guide on safety gear, including safety standards for helmets There are two key reasons why it is essential for all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets:
Protecting the head is one of the most important factors in preventing and reducing serious injuries if a rider is involved in a motorcycle accident. Our lawyers have previously discussed how traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force damages the brain. A brain injury can be caused by a blow to the head, a whiplash-type injury, or an object penetrating the skull – all of which motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to in an accident. While it is true that brain injuries can still occur even if the rider is wearing a helmet, a properly fitted helmet helps protect the brain by absorbing the force from a crash or fall from a motorcycle, decreasing the risk of serious head injury.
Failure to wear a helmet can negatively impact an ICBC claim for compensation for personal injury suffered as a result of a motorcycle accident. Even if a motorcyclist is not “at-fault” for the accident, ICBC may attempt to reduce compensation due to the motorcyclist’s failure to take reasonable precautions for their own safety, a legal concept known as “contributory negligence” (our Vancouver lawyers discussed motorcycle accident liability, including contributory negligence, in detail here). For compensation to be reduced in the personal injury claim, ICBC has to prove not just that the motorcyclist failed to wear a helmet, but also that the helmet would have reduced or prevented his/her injuries.
Put simply, if a motorcycle rider does not wear a helmet and gets into an accident, injuries may be worse and there is a risk that compensation for injuries will be reduced. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, our lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company can be reached at 604-852-5100, or toll-free if you are elsewhere in BC or outside the province: 1-855-852-5100. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help maximize your compensation by building a strong case to prove the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life, and by protecting against any allegation of contributory negligence.
Legal Guidance & More: From Injury to Recovery
Bronson Jones & Company lawyers have extensive trial experience and extensive experience in negotiating fair settlements for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents. We have also developed an extensive network of medical and occupational specialists, therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and others to help you recover and deal with the impact of your injury on your physical health, family life, finances and future. Reports from these experts may be essential in the development of your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call any of the 13 Bronson Jones locations in the Lower Mainland for our expertise and advice. All of our cases are handled on a contingency (percentage) basis and you don’t pay until we collect.