Helmets can save lives—but only when they work. When they have design, manufacturing, or marketing defects, however, they leave their wearers unprotected in the event of a collision. California has robust product liability laws to protect consumers from faulty helmets, allowing you to hold designers, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers accountable when their products cause harm.

If you have been injured due to a defective helmet in Walnut Creek, contact Casper, Meadows, Schwartz, & Cook. Our team of product liability lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries, and we’ll do so at no upfront cost to you.

Types of Defects in Helmets

Motorcycle and bicycle riders, athletes, and construction workers are just some of those who rely on helmets for protection. But when those helmets are defective, they may fail to provide that protection when it’s needed most. These defects typically fall into three main categories:

  • Defective Design – A design defect makes a helmet inherently unsafe even when it’s manufactured according to specifications. For example, a helmet that doesn’t have enough impact absorption may not provide sufficient protection.
  • Defective Manufacturing – Manufacturing defects occur during the production process, turning a safe product into an unsafe one. A helmet could have a completely safe design. However, an issue during manufacturing, like poor assembly, could result in the helmet failing when in use.
  • Defective Marketing – Marketing defects are also called “failure to warn” defects. They happen when the manufacturer or seller fails to inform the user how to use the product safely. A marketing defect could be a failure to tell the wearer how much force the helmet can protect against.

Legal Basis for Defective Helmet Claims

There are several different ways to go about a product liability case in Walnut Creek: strict liability, negligence, or a breach of warranty. Crucially, these approaches are not mutually exclusive. An injured party could seek compensation under each doctrine as part of the same suit.


Negligence is a legal term meaning a failure to exercise appropriate care under a given set of circumstances. A claim of negligence focuses on the actions of the manufacturer or seller, not on the product defect itself. For example, if a business negligently sold you a helmet they knew had a defect, they may be liable for any injury caused. Similarly, a manufacturer that failed to recall a helmet known to be defective might have behaved negligently.

Strict Liability

Many product liability cases rely on strict liability, meaning the manufacturer is responsible for a defective product absent any other fault. With strict liability, there is no need to prove the manufacturer or seller was negligent. Instead, you only have to prove:

  1. The helmet had a defect.
  2. You used the helmet as intended.
  3. The defect caused your injury.

Breach of Warranty

A breach of warranty claim focuses on a product’s marketing. Did the product fail to meet specific promises made about it? If so, the manufacturer or seller could be liable for resulting injuries.

What to Do After a Defective Helmet Injury

There are five key steps to take after suffering from a defective helmet injury:

  1. Seek Medical Attention – Always seek medical attention after a head injury. Even if you feel fine, you could have a concussion. Also, keep records of all your medical visits and treatments.
  2. Preserve the Evidence – Don’t throw away your defective helmet. That item is valuable evidence that can help prove if there was a design or manufacturing defect.
  3. Document the Accident – Write down anything you remember about the accident itself. These notes can help show that you were using the helmet as intended.
  4. Report the Defective Helmet – Report the defect to the manufacturer or seller of the helmet. Doing so will serve as a way to document your case. And it can protect others from similar injuries.
  5. Speak to a Product Liability Lawyer – An experienced product liability attorney can determine whether you have a case against the manufacturer and pursue it on your behalf. While they handle the legal work, you can focus on getting better.

What Types of Compensation Are Available?

Depending on the specifics of your case, you could pursue compensation for your:

  • Medical Expenses – These cover the costs associated with hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages – If your injuries caused you to miss work, become unable to work, or must work in a lower-paying position, you may receive a portion of your lost income as compensation.
  • Pain and Suffering – You also deserve compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering your injuries cause you. Pain in this context typically refers to long-term pain that needs to be managed, not just the immediate pain from the injury.

Although unlikely, the courts may determine that the manufacturer or seller acted especially egregiously.

  • Punitive Damages – These are meant to punish the at-fault party rather than compensate you for something you suffered.

How Can a Product Liability Attorney Help?

Product liability lawsuits can be complex. You should get to focus on your recovery, not on a lot of legal red tape. A product liability attorney can help relieve some of the stress by:

  • Evaluating Your Case – One important job of a lawyer is evaluating your case. They can determine what defect was present and the severity of your injuries. Then, they can determine your best course of legal action.
  • Collecting Evidence – A team of skilled attorneys will have the resources to gather important evidence for your case, like expert testimony, accident reports, and medical records, and then analyze it to build a strong case.
  • Calculating Compensation –  An experienced attorney can use the evidence they’ve gathered and their considerable experience with past cases to determine what fair compensation entails in your case. That insight can keep you from leaving money on the table.
  • Negotiating and Litigating – Negotiations with insurance companies and opposing parties are a core part of many claims. An attorney can represent you in these negotiations and in court if your claim proceeds to that phase.

Walnut Creek, CA, Defective Product Lawyer

Were you injured by a defective helmet? The attorneys of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz, & Cook can help determine the party responsible for your injuries, file your claim, and pursue your rightful compensation. Contact our Walnut Creek law office today for a free consultation, and let’s get started today.