Does Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet Impact Your Florida Personal Injury Claim?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website argues that the most effective way for states to save money and lives is to institute universal helmet laws for motorcyclists. The CDC supports this statement by citing several statistics, including one from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which claims that helmets were responsible for saving 1,772 motorcyclists’ lives in 2015 alone and that if all motorcyclists had worn helmets that year an additional 740 lives would have also been saved. Despite these and several other compelling statistics that support universal helmet laws, Florida does not currently have such a law on the books.
Florida’s Current Motorcycle Helmet Law
Back in 2010 Florida lawmakers amended section 316.11 of the Florida Statutes so that motorcyclists in Florida who are over 21 years of age can legally operate or ride on a motorcycle without wearing a helmet so long as he/she holds a medical insurance policy with coverage of at least $10,000. However, anyone who does not meet these two requirements is prohibited from operating or riding on a motorcycle in Florida without a helmet.
Motorcycle Accident Liability in Florida
Although Florida’s current motorcycle helmet law does not require the majority of motorcyclists in our state to wear helmets, be aware that not wearing a helmet may still impact a personal injury lawsuit filed by an injured motorcyclist. This is because courts hearing Florida injury claims based on motor vehicle accidents often find multiple parties to be partially at fault for causing the accident (and by extension the resulting injuries).
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that a personal injury plaintiff (i.e. the injured person who is suing) will have his/her recovery reduced by the percentage that they are found to be responsible for causing the accident. Be aware that failure to wear a helmet, even if not legally required, may result in some fault being assessed against the motorcyclist if it is proven that injuries would have been reduced if a helmet had been worn.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact a Local Personal Injury Lawyer
Regardless of whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, the experienced Ocala auto, truck, and motorcycle accident lawyers of Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law, would be happy to help you fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. Our firm is committed to helping injured clients across Florida negotiate with insurance providers and, when necessary, file personal injury claims and take their cases to court. To find out what our firm can do for you contact our Ocala office toll free today at (866) 225-6459 to schedule a free initial consultation.