Question for Kwacky

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Question for Kwacky

Postby duke63 » 05 Aug 2018, 19:34

If a rider has an accident wearing shorts, trainers, vest and no gloves and has a serious life changing accident, much of it down to him not wearing any safety gear, would the insurance company view he has contributed to those injuries by not wearing safety gear and try to reduce the payout as a result?
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby StMarks » 05 Aug 2018, 19:49

Interesting question mate.
As it happens I saw a lad on a 1k bike just today in shorts, T-shirt. trainers & no gloves. :^
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby Kwacky » 05 Aug 2018, 20:07

No.

The only reductions we can seek are for a lack of a helmet or not securing the helmet correctly.

There's no legal requirement to wear protective gear.
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby duke63 » 05 Aug 2018, 20:15

I was reading that William Dunlop's helmet came off in his fatal crash.
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby Kwacky » 05 Aug 2018, 21:05

It is possible for a correctly fitted helmet to come off
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby C00kiemonster » 06 Aug 2018, 06:38

Kwacky wrote:No.

The only reductions we can seek are for a lack of a helmet or not securing the helmet correctly.

There's no legal requirement to wear protective gear.


Interestingly France has a problem with people not wearing gloves so they have made that a legal requirement too as well as a lid.
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby bud » 06 Aug 2018, 06:46

Kwacky wrote:It is possible for a correctly fitted helmet to come off

I remember that horrible crash that killed Marco Simoncelli. No fault was ever found with the helmet, even though it came off.
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby D41 » 06 Aug 2018, 07:43

I seem to remember reading that Simo wore a helmet that was a touch larger than ideal just to accommodate all his hair.
That said, there was nothing about that wreck that was going to end well for him.....massive head, neck & chest injuries. The inertial forces of the two bikes that hit him were massive.
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby T.C. » 06 Aug 2018, 10:14

This is the area of law I work in.

Firstly, there are no deductions for contributory negligence if a rider comes off wearing nothing more than shorts and a T shirt.

The Hight court deemed a long time ago that someone should not pay the penalty for not wearing proper kit on the grounds that had it not been for the negligence of the defendant then the crash and therefpre the injuries probably would nothave occured in the first place.

However, if a claimant was not wearing a helmet or it was not securely fastened, then the claimant might be hit up to a maximum of 25% of their compensation, but the defence have to satisfy the requirement that not wearing a helmet or the insecurity contributed to the injuries sustained.

So for example, a rider has a crash caused by someone else. Said rider was not wearing a helmet and sustains lower leg injuries. No head injury, so whilst the rider may be convicted of riding without protective headgear, there would be no contributory negligence.

This piece I wrote for our website may make things clearer in regards of contrib.

https://www.hudgellsolicitors.co.uk/new ... rcyclists/

As far as good fitting helmets coming off? Oh yes.

I was the expert in the case of Finnis v Cauldfielfd in 2001. Finnis https://lexisweb.co.uk/cases/2002/octob ... s-car-hire

The motorcycle (Kawasaki ZX7R) ridden by Kevin Finnis hit a car turning right across his path car on the passenger side causing the rider to be thrown from his bike.

The force of the impact was so great, Mr Finnis was catapulted over the roof of the defendant Citroen during which time his crash helmet became detached from his head and came off, leaving his head exposed. He landed on the road on the opposite side of the car closely followed by his bike which landed on his unprotected head causing extensive injuries, not least of which was an injury to his brain.

The defence admitted causation in so much that they admitted that their client caused the crash by turning right across the path of Mr Finnis, but claimed that his head injuries were self inflicted as a result of his crash helmet either not being securely fastened, being a bad fit, in poor condition or a combination of the 3.

Unfortunately, although the Police had retained the client’s crash helmet at the time of the crash, when the property was returned to his wife some 6 months later, she disposed of it and it was therefore no longer available for inspection.

The Police were able to confirm that when they found the crash helmet at the scene, the fastening strap was still done up and the retaining bolts were still attached to the helmet.

The investigation (carried out by me) revealed that the claimant had not long returned to riding motorcycles and had subsequently purchased all new protective riding equipment about 3 months before.

The retailer who sold the client his crash helmet was interviewed and was able to confirm that apart from being a new helmet, it had also been a good fit and a number of different styles and models had been tried on until the best fit could be found. Witnesses were also able to confirm that the helmet was a good fit.

The brand of helmet worn by Mr Finnis was manufactured and approved at the highest level of British Standards, and so the possibility of there being a defect was discounted given how new it was.

I made contact with the head of neuro surgery at the time based at The JR2 in Oxford who had done a number of case studies on helmets coming off and he revealed that it was not unknown for a crash helmet to become detached in a heavy collision situation and they in fact had 3 recorded cases on file themselves.

In one case 2 racing motorcyclists were thrown from their machines, and television footage showed both helmets clearly coming off the riders heads. In another a young 18 year old girl was involved in a collision with an oncoming vehicle and her helmet was seen to come off her head before impact. Her helmet was found intact with the strap secured and the retaining bolts in place.

In another case a racing motorcyclist came off his machine and his helmet came off his head as he crashed. Fortunately on this occasion the rider was uninjured, but later examination revealed that the helmet in question was new, a good fit and its strap had been securely fastened with the retaining bolts in place and secure.

The case of Kevin Finnis went to trial, and the court accepted that in the case of Mr Finnis, he was -

Wearing a well fitting crash helmet that was in good condition prior to the collision with the defendants vehicle.

The crash helmet was correctly fastened and secured to his head.

The crash helmet came off as a direct result of the collision with the defendants vehicle.

And as a result of the collision, Mr Finnis sustained serious head injuries.

It was also accepted that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that a crash helmet becoming detached from a riders head as a result of a collision was not that unusual occurrence.

The investigation took several months.

The final result of this case was a win for Kevin Finnis to the value of £1,487,562,22 which included £95,000 for general damages and £5,000 for congenial employment. The rest of the damages was made up of loss of earnings and care.

To date, apparently this is the most reported and referred to motorcycle case in legal history, and I am very proud and pleased to have been able to contribute to helping Mr Finnis in this case.

The bottom line is that in some cases if the impact is hard enough, then the head can shrink sufficiently in a split second to allow the helmet to rotate and come off the riders head.

There have been several similar cases since.

So sorry to ramble on, but I hope that I have answered the question adequately even though it was intended for @kwacky
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby T.C. » 06 Aug 2018, 10:15

bud wrote:
Kwacky wrote:It is possible for a correctly fitted helmet to come off

I remember that horrible crash that killed Marco Simoncelli. No fault was ever found with the helmet, even though it came off.


Read my piece below.

That is why no fault was found

I should have added that compulsory wearing of motorcycle clothing will not be ntroduced because it is far too subjective and one persons idea of protective clothing is not anothers, and there are too many variables. (I think we have already had this discussion in another thread)

It is down to education.
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Re: Question for Kwacky

Postby Rossgo » 12 Aug 2018, 12:04

Wow I didn't realise that helmets can fall off! I wouldnt wish that on anyone

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