Brain Injury Claims Will Continue Until Helmets Mandatory

by John McKiggan

Fashion is preventing skiers and snowboarders from wearing helmets…and it’s putting them at risk of brain injury according to a Toronto neurosurgeon.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a commentary this week from Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital:

“Despite compelling evidence that shows wearing a helmet significantly reduces the chance of head and brain injury, there are still those who argue that helmets are not fashionable or part of the ski culture,” wrote Cusimano.

There are certain sporting activities that are known to have a higher incidence of traumatic brain injury:

* Bicycling

* Skateboarding

* Rollerblading (Inline Skating)

In most jurisdictions it’s now mandatory to wear helmets when doing any of these activities. People accept that it’s just common sense.


Skiers and snowboarders are still resisting mandatory helmet use.

More than 120,000 people suffer head injuries every year in North America while skiing or snowboarding. Recent studies have shown that helmets help reduce the risk of head injuries by up to 60 per cent. Two weeks ago I posted about a similar Canadian study: Brain Injury Leading Cause of Death and Serious Injury for Skiers and Snowboarders

People are going to continue to suffer head injuries and traumatic brain injury claims are going to continue to be filed in the courts. But if the injured person wasn’t wearing a helmet, you can expect defence lawyers to be more successful with claims of contributory negligence: that the injured person contributed to their brain injury because they refused to wear a helmet.

What do think? Should helmets be mandatory for skiers and snowboarders?

Want more information? Contact me through this blog and ask for a free copy of my book, The Survivor’s Guide to Brain Injury Claims: How to prove the invisible injury.

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