Did you suffer injuries in a motorcycle collision that caused your head to hit the ground, a vehicle or some other object like a tree, sign or guardrail? Chances are that any injury to your head could have been far worse if you hadn’t been wearing a good motorcycle helmet – maybe one you spent a lot of money on.
Once you’re well enough to ride again, can you continue to use that helmet? Maybe it still looks pretty good, except for a few scratches. The answer is almost always a resounding “No!”
Certainly, if your helmet struck something in the collision, you don’t want to risk wearing it again. Neither should you risk anyone else wearing it by donating it, giving it away or even throwing it in the trash. To understand why, let’s briefly look at how motorcycle helmets are designed.
The protective foam
Helmets generally contain one of two types of foam. One type, which is expanded polystyrene (EPS) It’s designed to do its job for one impact. That foam becomes too damaged in an impact to risk putting it through another one.
The second type of foam is expanded polypropylene (EPP). Manufacturers who use EPP foam sometimes advertise that their helmets can continue to protect the head in more than one impact. However, that depends on how seriously and how much of the foam was damaged. There’s no point in risking a second impact by continuing to wear it.
The foam is surrounded by a casing around the interior of the helmet. On impact, that casing can suffer cracks. This damage can also minimize the helmet’s protective qualities. There’s no way of knowing by looking at any part of the helmet that’s visible if or how much the casing is damaged.
The cost of a new helmet is a recoverable economic loss
A new helmet is just one expense you will have after a crash. If the crash was caused by a driver, another motorcyclist or anyone else, you can include the cost of a new helmet with the economic losses you need to recover from the at-fault party(ies).
Make sure you’re aware of all of your short-term and long-term economic and non-economic damages before you agree to a settlement. Having legal guidance can help you maximize your claim.