According to NHTSA statistics, more than 80% of motorcycle accidents cause either personal injuries or wrongful deaths. On average each year, there are approximately 9,000 motorcycle crashes in Florida resulting in over 7,000 injuries and over 500 fatalities, according to Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). While motorcycle crashes account for only 2-4% of all crashes in Florida, they account for almost 16% of all traffic fatalities.
The CDC reports that motorcycle helmets save an estimated 1,900 lives per year, perhaps even more. Even though Florida doesn’t mandate helmet use for every motorcycle rider, defense lawyers and insurance adjusters still try to penalize riders for not wearing a helmet. Not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can drastically affect the amount of compensation an injured victim might receive.
Florida Motorcycle Helmet Law
Florida law only requires a motorcycle helmet in certain situations. Under Florida Statutes section 316.211, individuals must wear a motorcycle helmet when:
- They are under 21 years of age; and
- They do not have an insurance policy of at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries in a motorcycle accident.
Individuals who are over 21 years old and who have at least $10,000 in medical benefits coverage may legally operate a motorcycle without a helmet.
What is the Helmet Defense?
In spite of Florida law only requiring helmet use for certain riders, insurance adjusters and defense attorneys almost always use the lack of wearing a helmet while riding against an injured motorcyclist. The State of Florida is a comparative fault state, meaning that the victim’s share of fault in an accident can be considered when calculating total damage compensation. For instance, when an injured motorcyclist recovers $100,000 in damages but is found 40% at fault for their injuries due to not wearing a helmet, the actual damages received will be reduced to $60,000.
Injured in a Southwest Florida Motorcycle Accident? GTS Can Help! Whether or not you were wearing your helmet, you may be entitled to compensation for personal injuries suffered after a motorcycle accident in Florida. Learn how our experienced, Southwest Florida motorcycle accident lawyers at Goldman, Tiseo, and Sturges, P.A. can help you recover compensation during a FREE consultation by dialing (941) 625-6666 or by sending us a message through our contact us box available on our website here.