Stumbled across a topic which I thought had come up before, at least in part, during a "helmet laws" or maybe a, "modification / 160 front tire" thread, but Google could only find one old posting from 2007 on the specific topic; I thought it was interesting and important enough to share, as it affects Canadians, Americans and the British at least, likely others also.
Contributory Negligence. What is it? It's when some azzhat cager is at fault for a collision with your bike but then his/her azzhat lawyer is clever enough to have your bike and gear inspected. If your bike is not properly maintained, is modified, or you were not wearing approved / required / appropriate gear (like a helmet, boots, gloves, etc.) then YOU, the Rider / Victim of this douchebag can be held accountable to have "contributed" to your injuries / damage / loss and therefore any civil / insurance payout to you could be reduced proportionately - ** or even nullified ** - if your percentage of "contribution" was sufficient!!
So. Just a tip! ATGATT my Brothers and Sisters, and/or make sure you are ready to articulate how that plastic, fake DOT-stickered German spiked beanie helmet, or all those awesome mods we have done (like my 160 front, altered blinkers, whatever...) had nothing to do with the injuries and/or damage you sustained!
Keep your stick on the ice - we're all in this together!