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My lid came off in accident

My opponent’s solicitor in my personal injury claim from my bike accident has queried whether I was wearing a helmet during my accident, as I sustained facial fractures. They say that they don’t think I was but even if I was then it cannot have been strapped up properly as it came off so I should accept some blame for my injuries. I was wearing a helmet and have no idea how it came off as I always ensure it is properly secured. Whilst I can prove that I was wearing the helmet how am I supposed to prove it was properly strapped on at the time? Am I likely to get less compensation as a result?

John W, by e-mail



A European study showed helmet loss in nearly 13% of motorcycle accidents. There doesn’t seem to be any authoritative research on why this might happen, but it is generally thought to be due to an ill-fitting helmet or some issue with the chin-strap. That said perfectly fitted helmets can also come off.

In the 1988 Court of Appeal case of Capps v Miller the court held that contributory negligence of 10% should apply for failing to do up a chin strap. This means that in these circumstances the Claimant would receive 10% less compensation.

However, contributory negligence is for the Defendant to prove so you should resist any deduction to your compensation and invite them to prove it, making it clear you always did the straps up.



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