The Sunshine State is full of motorcycles thanks to its sunny skies and beautiful year-round weather. It’s a big draw for biker tourism, and hundreds of thousands of these bikes are registered in the state. As skilled Orange County motorcycle accident attorneys, we are well versed in Florida’s motorcycle helmet law.
Our firm has had our fair share of success in recovering personal injury compensation for crashes involving motorcycle riders throughout Orange County and the rest of Central Florida. Sadly, as reported by the NHTSA, our state has the highest death and injury rate of motorcyclists and passengers in the nation.
People often wonder if wearing a helmet is required, especially concerning cases of wrongful death and injuries. The next question we frequently get asked is whether or not one’s claim is impacted by wearing a helmet or not. Several factors weigh in on the answer, including your age, insurance coverage, and the type of injuries incurred.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Florida
Until the year 2000, motorcycle helmet laws in Florida were universal. This changed in July of that year when helmets were only mandated for minors under 21 and those not carrying a minimum of $10,000 in bodily injury and property damage coverage. These changes mean that anyone of legal age who has the required insurance coverage and endorsement can ride without a helmet, though protective eyewear is still mandatory.
Our team respects your right to decide if you want to wear a helmet while cruising on your bike. But, accidents can happen no matter what precautions you take. Crashes involving motorbikes frequently result in life-threatening injuries that are difficult to recover from completely. If you are in this situation, you need the skilled personal injury team at Jordan Law to protect your rights to compensation and represent you when dealing with the insurance companies.
Insurers are large money-making corporations that only care about one thing: their bottom line. Whether you wore a helmet or not, you are entitled to fair compensation that meets the full scope of the damages you’ve suffered. This reality doesn’t stop insurance companies from doing everything possible to minimize or outright deny your injury claim, and using your lack of a helmet may be one way they succeed.
Motorcyclist Insurance Considerations to Remember
Regarding car insurance, currently, Florida is a no-fault state. This means any vehicles you have registered must also include PIP coverage. These policies compensate up to $10,000 to cover time off work, lost wages, and medical bills. As defined in Florida Statute 627.737, your injuries must meet a certain threshold of severity to circumvent this no-fault system.
Also, keep in mind that motorcycle insurance coverage is different from that of your car. The usual no-fault law won’t apply, and you aren’t required to show proof of insurance to register your bike. There is an exception to this condition, though. If you have previously been charged in an accident that caused injuries or received previous traffic violations, state law requires you to carry coverage for three years.
Orange County Injury Lawyers and the “Helmet Defense”
Any type of motor vehicle accident is subject to Florida’s pure comparative fault system when determining negligence. If you’re partially to blame for the accident, that won’t disallow you from pursuing personal injury compensation. Instead, the damages recovered will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
In circumstances where you didn’t have a helmet on, a tactic known as “the helmet defense” might be used against you. This strategy attempts to reduce the insurer and liable driver’s fault for your damages and injuries. Essentially, it contends that your decision not to wear a helmet is negligent. Even if the other driver is at fault for your injuries, you could be considered partially responsible for your losses.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident without a Helmet?
If you or a relative recently survived a motorcycle crash but now are struggling to get the insurer to pay for your injuries, you need the skilled attorneys of Jordan Law by your side. We understand the struggles you are struggling with because of this experience and will fight on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve. The fact you did or didn’t wear a helmet doesn’t erase the fact that a negligent driver caused you damages.
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to recover compensation.