What You Should Know About Florida’s Helmet Laws in 2020
Florida is a year-round haven for motorcyclists, given the warm weather, beaches, and excellent scenic rides. But Florida also has unique and very specific laws relating to motorcycles. If you are hurt on a motorcycle in Florida, there are certain key things you need to know about helmet laws and how they can affect your rights. At Draper Law Office, our attorneys routinely help injured motorcyclists recover compensation. Here are a few key points to remember about helmet laws in Florida.
Helmets are not required if you are 21 and insured properly
Under FLA STAT. 316.211, helmets are required for all riders. While this is a general rule, those who are 21 or older may go without a helmet so long as they carry $10,000 in medical payments insurance through their auto insurance policy.
Florida has a comparative fault law which allows injured parties to collect financial recoveries from at-fault drivers even if they are themselves partly to blame. Unlike some states, Florida law allows a plaintiff who is primarily at fault to still recover compensation. However, the recovery would be reduced by his or her share of the liability. For this reason, financial awards are not usually a practical reality when the plaintiff is mostly to blame. That said, a skilled Florida trial lawyer may be able to help.
Expect the insurance companies to use the helmet law
What does the comparative negligence law mean for motorcycle riders? Well, if you fail to wear a helmet – legal or not – the insurance company representing the at fault driver may argue that you share responsibility for your injuries. This is a nasty little defense, because in most cases, if you are filing a claim for injuries, it means that the accident would not have occurred but for the other driver’s error. Nevertheless, had you been wearing a helmet, the insurance company will argue, you would not have suffered the same severity of injuries.
Helmet defenses are different from state to state, but in Florida, it is very common for the insurance company to lay some of the blame on the motorcyclist, even where helmet use had nothing to do with the accident.
Fighting the Helmet Defense
First, medical evidence is crucial. So, by working with a skilled personal injury attorney near you, there is a good chance you can be guided through medical care and helped to find early care where others might have to wait. Likewise, by getting rapid medical care, you will have competent medical professionals who can testify about the nature of your head injury (where applicable) and explain how with or without a helmet, you likely would have suffered similar injuries. Although research shows that helmets save lives, this does not automatically mean there should be an offset in every case involving a rider without a helmet.
If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt by a careless driver in Florida, call or visit online to speak with a dedicated Kissimmee personal injury attorney at the Draper Law Office who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Consultations are free, so there’s absolutely no risk and no obligation.