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article imageInjured teen cyclist allowed home after year in hospital Special

By Sam Wright     Sep 4, 2014 in Health
In July 2013, 15-year-old Ryan Smith sustained a serious brain injury after colliding with a van whilst cycling. After spending over a year in hospital, he was allowed to return home earlier this week.
We spoke to bike accident solicitor Caroline Marchbank-Caunce from Cycle Aid to hear her thoughts.
“Apparently, Ryan wasn’t wearing a helmet because he was worried about messing up his hair,” says Caroline. “And while accidents are sometimes unavoidable, there’s no doubt that wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of head injuries.”
Government research suggests that some people would be discouraged from cycling if helmets were compulsory. Lots of countries already have laws requiring children to wear helmets, and in other countries including Hungary, cycle helmets are a requirement in urban areas.
As a personal injury solicitor specialising in head injuries sustained while cycling, Caroline often deals with cases that could have been a lot less severe if a helmet had been worn. “Head injuries are often worse, and compensation is often significantly less. While wearing a helmet isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, it is taken into account if you make a claim.”
Caroline and the Cycle Aid team are members of Headway, the Brain Injury Association, and believe that all cyclists, especially children, would be well advised to wear a helmet while cycling.
The Ryan Smith Foundation is campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of cycle helmets,” says Caroline. “At Cycle Aid, we’d definitely support that.”
Caroline and the Cycle Aid team wish Ryan all the best with his continuing recovery.
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