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A Look Back At A Sports Accident Injury Case Due To An Ill Fitting Helmet

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In this case, I was actually asked to handle a matter in the state of Indiana. I am not licensed to practice law in Indiana, but I was retained by a woman who wanted me to represent her there. I had to be specially admitted to the Indiana bar for this particular case.

Our client was a very active, avid bike rider.  One night, when she was out for a training ride, she fell off her bike and was knocked out. Nobody saw the accident happen. Our client had amnesia because she was knocked out, and she could not remember what happened.

Even though she was wearing a bicycle helmet, she suffered a brain injury, with some bleeding in the brain, and a skull fracture.

The locations where the brain injury and skull fracture occurred were areas that should have been covered and protected by the helmet if it fit properly.

We tried to reconstruct the accident by using the following evidence:

  • markings on the road,
  • markings on the bicycle,
  • tires of the bicycle, and
  • some markings on the helmet itself.

We were able to reconstruct the mechanics of the accident. What we found was that this particular bike helmet did not fit our client’s head properly. It was too big for her head. 

When the accident sequence began or when she started falling off her bike, the helmet actually rotated or slid on her head and exposed a part of her scalp, which was what hit the roadway.

Shortly before the accident, our client had gone to a bike shop and asked the clerk to help fit her for a helmet to make sure that the helmet fit her properly and safely. The helmet that this guy picked for her just did not fit properly.  They didn’t have the size helmet she should have worn in stock that day.

The clerk should have told her, “I am sorry, we don’t have the right helmet for you.  Please come back another day,” or told her go to another store. The clerk could have also said, “We can order one for you and come back and get it next week.” Instead, the clerk sold her a helmet that didn’t fit her safely.

This case obviously presented a lot of challenges for us as attorneys.  Without an eyewitness to the accident, we were faced with some enormous obstacles that we had to overcome.  Fortunately, we were able to overcome those obstacles.  We achieved a result that was very satisfactory for our client.  I am happy to say that she is doing very well despite the injuries she suffered in the accident.

Other Related Sports Accident Injury Articles and FAQ:

Category: Sports & Recreation Accidents


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