Denver Defective Helmet Attorney

Helmets don’t always work as promised

Sean Dormer –  As a pediatrician, my wife spends a lot of time telling her patients and their parents how important helmets are. “What’s the most important part of your entire body?” she asks her patients. “Your brain! That’s why you always have to wear your helmet when you ride anything with wheels.” We have to be able to trust helmet makers to know that too. And they promise they do.

Unfortunately, helmet makers don’t always live up to their promises. At Dormer Harpring, our product liability attorneys have seen defective bike helmets that were too weak We’ve seen defective bike helmets that came off before impact even when worn correctly. We’ve seen defective football helmets make concussions worse. We’ve seen defective motorcycle helmets shatter on impact, allowing the rider’s head to hit the pavement.  All of these helmet defects can turn simple or survivable accidents into catastrophic or deadly injuries.

And the same things show up in the news too often. Defective football helmets aren’t protecting players from repeated concussions. New research shows companies how to make safer helmets, and then the companies all-too-often ignore it.

Defective helmet law in Colorado

Colorado, like most states, has an area of law called “product liability” to hold companies responsible when they make or sell defective helmets. If someone sustains an injury (or their injury is worse) because of a defective helmet, the law generally says the manufacturer has to pay for their damages.

How can you tell if a helmet is defective?

“Defective” means anything making a product unreasonably dangerous. Helmets can be defective for a whole list of reasons. Here are just a few examples of situations that might mean a helmet is defective (of course, the details always matter, and a skilled corporate defense lawyer can often twist the details to win):

  • Helmet fails to prevent a brain injury;
  • Helmet shatters from small impact;
  • Helmet cracks from small impact;
  • Helmet falls off before impact, even when worn correctly;
  • Helmet falls off after first impact, even when worn correctly, allowing a second direct hit to the head;
  • Motorcycle face mask breaks from small impact;
  • Football helmet does not protect against repeated concussions; and
  • Hockey helmet does not protect against repeated concussions.

What kinds of injuries can be caused by a defective helmet?

But even if a helmet is defective, it might be tough to hold the helmet maker responsible. On this point, the key word in the law is “because.” In a helmet defect product liability case, the injured person’s attorney will have to prove they were hurt worse at least in part because of the defect. Injuries from a defective helmet might include one or more of the following:

  • Brain injury;
  • Permanent brain damage;
  • Brain bleed;
  • Skull fracture;
  • Facial fracture;
  • Facial deformity;
  • Neck injury;
  • Death; and
  • Paralysis.

What damages can a victim recover in a defective helmet claim?

If someone is hurt or hurt worse because of a helmet defect, the best product liability attorneys will be able to help them recover damages.  Damages in a Colorado personal injury claim get broken down into three categories:

  • Economic damages” are things like medical bills (reasonable value is usually the full bill, NOT the lower “amount paid”), lost income, accessibility tools and modifications like wheelchairs or medical beds, etc.
  • Non-economic damages” include mental and physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, etc. This can be a hard category to put a number to, but the best personal injury attorneys in Colorado are able to describe injured people’s non-economic damages to adjusters or juries in ways that are designed to maximize their results. In Colorado, non-economic damages are capped. The cap changes with inflation and is supposed to be re-certified every so often by the Colorado Secretary of State.
  • Physical Impairment and Disfigurement” in Colorado, physical impairment and disfigurement are not capped. They are usually defined in a trial by medical experts. Again, these damages can be hard to put a number to, but the best personal injury attorneys in Colorado can help maximize the result.

More questions? Call us now for a free consultation.

We’ve earned a reputation as “tough lawyers for tough cases.” Most of our cases involve severe and complex injuries. But we do this job because we want to help. It’s free to call us and ask more about an injury you or a loved one sustained because of the unsafe behavior of another. If we decide to sign on as your attorneys, we work on a “contingent fee,” which means you only pay fees if we win. We can also advance case expenses, so you pay nothing until your case is over.

Call Dormer Harpring today at (303) 747-4404 or fill out our simple online contact request here.