Are Motorcycle Helmets Mandatory in Florida?
While your driver’s license is enough to operate a vehicle in any state, motorcycle regulations vary depending on where in the United States you are driving. Particularly, each state has its own rules for helmets. Before deciding whether or not to wear a helmet on your next ride down the coast, it is important to understand what the potential consequences will be of leaving it at home. If another driver causes you to crash and suffer injuries, your decision could impact the compensation you receive from a personal injury claim.
Florida’s Helmet Law
Florida Statute 316.211 states that helmets are mandatory unless you are over the age of 21 and covered by an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 in medical benefits. In 2017, HB6009 attempted to make helmets universally mandatory but it died in the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, so for now the law stands as it was written in 2000. The helmet must be securely fastened to the rider’s head and should meet safety criteria as set forth by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Novelty helmets that are not DOT-approved do not count. It is also prudent to check your insurance to verify that the coverage includes motorcycles. This law applies to anyone who rides a motorcycle on Florida roads, even if they are a visitor to the state.
How Wearing a Helmet Affects Your Personal Injury Case
It is important to recognize that in addition to protecting your head, wearing a helmet protects you financially should you be involved in a crash. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that while another driver may be fully responsible for causing a crash, the amount of compensation you receive in a personal injury claim could be reduced if there is evidence that your injuries could have been partially prevented by the protection of a helmet. So, if you are in a crash and suffer road burns and a broken leg, not wearing a helmet will not impact your claim. However, if you suffer a traumatic brain injury and were not wearing a helmet, your compensation could be reduced. Traumatic brain injuries and facial wounds are both severe injuries that will have extensive medical costs and compensation to cover those expenses will prove important if you are injured.
Contact Glover Law Firm About Your Motorcycle Crash
Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users who often suffer the brunt of the injuries in a crash. Unlike car drivers and passengers, there is no airbag to protect you and no seatbelt to keep you from being ejected on to the pavement. Wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to protect yourself while riding, but ultimately it is your choice if you are over 21 and insured in Florida. If you have been injured contact the experienced The Villages motorcycle accident attorneys at Glover Law Firm. We will advocate on your behalf, even if you were choosing the freedom not to wear a helmet at the time of your crash. Call 352-205-4495 to set up a free consultation and begin your personal injury claim today.