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Do you wear a bike helmet?

In Massachusetts, there is a law that dictates riders 16 years of ages and younger must wear a helmet. However, there is no such law for adults. According to the most recent year with comprehensive data on bicycle accidents, there were about 51,000 bike-related injuries, including 630 deaths, in the United States in one year. Massachusetts is not immune to these statistics.

The Boston Public Health Commission has a plan in the works to promote the wearing of helmets across the city. Additionally, the Boston bike share program, called Hubway and implemented just under a year ago, is looking for a way to make helmets for bike sharers more readily available.

Although it is encouraged by health officials to wear helmets for better protection, this does not mean that in the event of bike-accident injuries, in which the rider was not wearing a helmet, the rider cannot seek recompense.

In fact, if a bicyclist in Massachusetts or elsewhere is hit by a negligent car or bus driver, that driver needs to be held accountable, regardless of helmet use. Because bicyclists are so vulnerable, an accident can result in serious injury. These injuries not only entail a possibly long and painful recovery, but they can be accompanied by steep medical expenses as well.

Fighting for compensation in such an accident can ensure the biker recompense for lost wages during recovery time as well as compensation for the biker's pain and suffering.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Only 1 in 5 Hubway bike-share riders in Boston wear helmets, study suggests," Deborah Kotz, April 30, 2012

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