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Florida’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws – The Hidden Cost of Not Wearing a Helmet
In Florida, motorcyclists aren’t required to wear helmets, as long as they are 21 or older and have a minimum of $10,000 in bodily injury insurance coverage. Despite our personal beliefs on the subject, some motorcyclists are quite vocal about riding without a helmet.
The arguments for riding without a helmet can be as simple as a right to choose to a misguided belief that riding without a helmet is actually safer. Regardless of the arguments presented, repeated studies have shown indisputable facts. Riding without a helmet puts the motorcyclist at a greater risk of serious injury or death. There is a valid reason why doctors call motorcyclists “organ donors”.
Riding a motorcycle without a helmet can impact the rider and their family in more ways than the obvious. Serious motorcycle accidents are usually very expensive. They can and typically do result in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages. People injured in any type of vehicle accident typically rely on insurance, their own or the other driver’s, to cover a good portion or all of the costs related to that accident.
The “Helmet Defense” – Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
What most motorists don’t know is that Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that more than one party can be blamed for injuries or property damage resulting from an accident. With respect to insurance claims or court rendered verdicts, the amount paid to the victim(s) is based upon the percentage that each party’s negligence factored into the accident and the resulting damages.
Defense lawyers and insurance companies, including those representing injured motorcyclists, have seized upon Florida’s comparative negligence law to limit their losses. The tactic is known as the “helmet defense” and is used to place blame on the motorcyclist for their injuries. If the motorcyclist had been wearing a helmet during the accident, their injuries (damages) wouldn’t have been as severe.
If successful, the comparative negligence argument can dramatically reduce or even eliminate the insurance settlement or court awarded verdict the injured motorcyclist may otherwise be entitled to. In turn, this can affect the victims ability to pay for already rendered or still needed medical treatment. It can also impact their family’s financial survival, if they’re temporarily or permanently unable to work.
Protect Your Legal Rights
As a law firm that represents injured motorcycle accident victims in these types of cases, it’s simply not worth the financial risk. It’s in the best financial interest of you and of your family to always wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle.
If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and weren’t wearing your helmet or are a surviving family member of someone killed on a motorcycle who was not wearing a helmet, we urge you to contact the law firm of Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. today. It will take an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to preserve your legal rights. Do not put your future in the hands of an insurance company. We offer no cost initial consultations. We also take motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis. This means you owe no attorney’s fees unless we obtain a settlement or win a favorable verdict in court. We will fight for your rights.