Can I Still Recover Damages if I Had No Helmet?
Florida law doesn’t require all motorcyclists to wear protective headgear or helmets. So, you can still recover damages from the other driver if you get into a motorcycle accident that you did not cause while not wearing a helmet.
The other party may try to prove that not wearing a helmet resulted in more serious injuries than if you were wearing one at the time of the crash. If they can prove their claim, they can raise the legal principle of comparative fault to lower your compensation.
Does Florida Have a Helmet Law?
Yes. If you are younger than 21 years old and have a license to ride a motorcycle in the Sunshine State, you must always wear your helmet while riding. You must also have proper insurance coverage.
If you are older than 21 and have a license to ride, you have options. Like, you will not need insurance coverage if you opt to wear your helmet.
If you don’t want to wear your helmet, you must have insurance coverage. Your insurance plan must give you at least $10,000 in medical benefits. You may use these benefits for injuries you sustain if you get into a motorcycle accident.
But how does the helmet law impact a motorcycle accident claim? The other party will try to find a way to prove a causal link between the injuries you suffered. They’ll also try to prove that not wearing a helmet caused, contributed to, or aggravated your injuries.
For instance, if you suffered a head injury and the other party provides expert testimony stating that your injury would have been prevented or less serious by wearing a helmet, the testimony would significantly affect the results of your case.
By contrast, if you suffered a broken leg or arm, it would be very hard for the other party to prove that wearing a helmet would have affected your injuries.
Important Insurance Considerations and Comparative Fault
Florida follows the comparative fault rule. According to the rule, your own negligence will reduce the number of damages you can recover by a percentage that’s equal to your share of fault. This means that if the law finds you to be 20% at fault for the motorcycle accident, your recovery will reduce by 20%.
You may likewise have issues with your insurance provider if you weren’t wearing your helmet during the crash. Some insurance providers will raise your premium significantly if they encourage or require helmet use for their insured motorcyclists. Additionally, insurance practices that impact helmet use can be intentionally vague.
Reach Out to a Skilled Tampa, FL, Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash in Florida while not wearing your helmet, regardless of if you were required to wear one or not, you should discuss your specific situation with a skilled Tampa, FL, motorcycle accident attorney right away.
You can learn more about your options for recovering compensation by calling 813-915-1110. Or you can reach us by filling out our online form to arrange your free case review with our Tampa, FL, motorcycle accident attorney.