Florida law requires all motorcyclists to wear securely fastened helmets, which must comply with United States Department of Transportation standards. There is an exception made for riders over age 21 who are covered by insurance policies providing at least $10,000 in medical benefits. However, failing to wear a helmet, even though legal, can have a bearing on your ability to sue other drivers for damages arising from head injuries sustained in a collision.
Motorcycle accidents are an unfortunate harsh reality on Florida roads. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department, in 2018 there were 9,143 motorcycle crashes in 2018 that resulted in 7,849 injuries and 531 fatalities. The causes of accidents are varied, and motorcyclists suffer more serious injuries than occupants of other vehicles.
Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that liability for a motorcycle accident is shared according to each driver’s percentage of fault — not just for the accident but for the resulting injuries.
For example, suppose you are riding your motorcycle without wearing a helmet and are hit by another vehicle at an intersection. Perhaps the other driver was speeding but you failed to yield the right of way. As a result of the accident, you suffer injuries to your head and body. Both you and the other driver will be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. Any compensation you receive for your bodily injuries will be reduced by that percentage.
However, your compensation for head injuries will likely be reduced even more. Even though failure to wear a helmet did not contribute to the accident, it may have worsened your head injuries, and so you will be assigned a higher percentage of fault for causing them.
The staff at Largey Law includes experienced attorneys who are motorcycle riders themselves. We understand Florida motorcycle accident issues and will fight to win you maximum compensation. Our firm is skilled at navigating the Florida legal system and building strong cases. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer, contact us online. We have offices in Tavares, Clermont and Inverness.