Despite evidence that motorcycle helmets save so many lives, only 28 states have helmet laws on the books. Of these 28 states, only 19 require both the passengers and driver to wear helmets, while the other nine states only mandate that the driver wear a helmet. If you live in a state that has motorcycle helmet laws, it’s important to know just how it affects you in case of a motorcycle accident causing injury or death.
Knowing the Law in Your State
Whether you ride a bike or drive a car, it’s paramount to know every aspect of helmet laws because accidents do happen and you want to be aware of your rights. These laws can affect the outcome of any claims or damages you’re involved in.
In 2010, Florida lawmakers amended the Florida Statute so that a motorcyclist may ride a bike without a helmet only under certain criteria. They must be over the age of 21 and have an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 in medical coverage. If you don’t meet these requirements, it is the law to wear a helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
Personal Injury & Comparative Negligence
Even if it isn’t mandatory to wear a helmet, if you suffered an injury while not wearing a helmet it can still impact a personal injury lawsuit filed by an injured motorcyclist. This usually falls under comparative negligence, meaning that both you and the other person involved in the accident are responsible for the injuries, often regardless of who actually caused the accident.
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that the injured person who is suing will have his or her recovery reduced by the percentage that they are found responsible for causing the accident. For example, if the motorcyclist is getting compensated $10,000, but found 20 percent responsible, they would only receive $8,000.
Non-Neck and Head Injuries
As stated above, if you’re a driver or a motorcyclist involved in an accident, the laws regarding helmet usage play a pivotal role in whether you can seek or receive damage for head and neck injuries. If you are in an accident, not wearing a helmet, and injure a different part of your body, many insurance companies will try to use this against you to diminish your settlement. You can fight these assertions and recover the compensation you deserve.
Note that if you didn’t injure your neck or head in the accident, helmet laws or lack thereof are entirely irrelevant in a court of law.
At David W. Singer & Associates, P.A., our attorneys have successfully handled motorcycle accident cases in Hollywood, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and throughout the state of Florida. Call 1-800-ASK-FREE today to discuss your case with an experienced Hollywood motorcycle accident attorney.