Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Florida?
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers | Florida Law
Mandatory motorcycle helmet laws have been enacted in many states, including Florida. You must wear a motorcycle helmet in Florida except in limited situations.
What Are Florida’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
Florida law requires riders to wear motorcycle helmets that meet the requirements for protective headgear under Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218. In addition to a motorcycle helmet, motorcyclists must wear eye protection.
There are some exceptions to Florida’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law:
The motorcycle helmet law in Florida does not apply to riders in an enclosed cab. Riders at least 16 years or older riding a motorcycle that does not exceed 30 mph or is less than 50cc do not need to wear a motorcycle helmet. However, riders under 16 years old must wear a helmet if they ride a moped.
When a motorcycle rider is 21 years of age or older, they must choose not to wear a motorcycle helmet if they have medical benefits insurance. They must have a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits.
If a police officer stops the rider, the person must show the police officer proof of insurance, or they could receive a ticket for not wearing a motorcycle helmet. The insurance must be issued through a recognized health insurance provider and be current.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance does not apply to motorcyclists, so PIP insurance coverage is insufficient. However, the person could purchase limited motorcycle medical coverage to satisfy medical benefits insurance requirements.
Does Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet Reduce the Risk of Head Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident?
There were 8,614 motorcycle crashes in Florida in 2021. In Pinellas County, 428 motorcycle accidents were reported in 2021, including 27 motorcycle fatalities.
The NHTSA reports that motorcycle riders were 29 times more likely to die in a crash than vehicle occupants. In addition, they are four times more likely to be injured. The risk of injury and death in a motorcycle accident decreases when the rider wears a motorcycle helmet.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports that wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces a person’s chance of dying in a motorcycle wreck by 37 percent. Furthermore, wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the chance of sustaining a head injury in a motorcycle accident by 69 percent.
A head injury during a motorcycle accident can cause permanent brain damage. Brain injury can lead to physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments. Depending on the severity of the impairment, the motorcyclist might require 24/7 nursing and/or personal care.
A rider might not be able to work after a head injury. As a result, they could lose substantial income, making it impossible to pay living expenses and bills.
In the worst case, a head injury from a motorcycle crash causes death. The family members may have a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver or other parties who caused the motorcycle crash.
What Type of Compensation Can I Recover for a Motorcycle Accident in St. Petersburg?
How much your motorcycle claim is worth depends on numerous factors. A primary factor in the value of damages is the extent of your injuries. For example, a severe brain injury could increase the value of your motorcycle accident claim.
Damages that you could receive after a motorcycle crash include:
- Past and future cost of medical treatment, therapy, nursing care, and personal care
- Past and future lost wages, benefits, and earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering caused by motorcycle injuries
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life and decreased quality of life
- Property damage
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
Can I Recover Money for Damages if I Was Not Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?
If you have the required medical benefits insurance and are over the age of 21 years, you are not breaking the law by riding a motorcycle without a helmet. However, that will not stop an insurance company from trying to reduce the value of your motorcycle accident claim.
Florida adopted a pure contributory fault law. If you contribute to the cause of your injury, your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for causing your injury. The insurance company may argue to a jury that you were negligent in not wearing a motorcycle helmet. They may produce studies that show wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injuries and brain damage.
However, your car accident lawyer argues that wearing a motorcycle helmet does not guarantee that you would not have sustained an injury in the motorcycle crash. The question would be up to the jury.
The best way to protect yourself if you are injured in a motorcycle crash is to discuss your case with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Petersburg. A personal injury attorney understands the laws and how to protect your best interests during settlement negotiations and a jury trial.
Contact the Pinellas County Motorcycle Injury Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg motorcycle accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,