Helmet Defense for Motorcycle Accidents!
There are many motorcycles to be found in the sunshine state of Florida. You can find more than 5, 00, 000 registered motorcycles in the state. During the cases of motorcycle accidents that cause injuries and wrongful deaths there is a common question raised, is it necessary to wear helmets in the state of Florida? Do the motorcycle riders have the right to forgo wearing helmets? If they do wave this right, is it going to affect their injury claim? The answers to these questions depend largely on your age, the kind of insurance you possess, and if you have suffered neck/head/facial injuries.

Motorcycle accidents and helmet laws in Florida

Florida does have a helmet law in place, however; it is not applied universally as it was before the year 2000. A helmet is mandatory for the rider under the age of 21 and for those that do not possess an insurance policy with a minimum of $10,000 cover in terms of medical benefits for the injuries caused during a motorcycle accident. When you are older than 21 and have the right amount of indemnity there is no need to wear the helmet. Also, keep in mind that all motorcycle riders are needed to wear protective eyewear in the state of Florida.

If you have chosen not to wear a helmet, it will not stop you from filing your injury claim in Florida. However, in many cases, it may affect the amount of compensation you are awarded. As motorcycle accidents many times result in a lot of injuries to the rider or the passenger, you must get hold of an experienced injury lawyer in Florida for running the case on your behalf.

Legal angle for the use of helmets during motorcycle accidents in Florida

The state of Florida uses a comparative fault system to decide the legal responsibility of a motorcycle accident or any other kind of crash case. It means you can pursue an accident claim even when you are partially at fault. If a helmet was absent at the time of the accident the defense may use a tactic called helmet defense for reducing the damages amount. This line of defense implies that although it was the fault of the other driver you can be held partially responsible due to the negligence that resulted in the injuries by not wearing a helmet.

Wearing a helmet might not be a factor in some motorcycle accident cases. For instance, if a driver runs a red light and crashes into your vehicle causing broken legs and you have not suffered any head injuries, your decision of not wearing a helmet might be irrelevant to the claim. But, if the accident knocked you off the bike and the head struck the pavement resulting in brain injuries, the defense counsel will argue that the head injury could have been prevented if the rider was wearing a helmet. Comparative faults have to be supported by the witnesses and their testimonies. This can also be refuted by the attorney representing you in the court.

If the helmet defense is successful in the claim of a comparative fault our damages are likely to be substantially reduced. For instance, in the example given above, if the red light runner is found to be negligent and liable for 80% of the damages and you are considered to be 20% at fault, for a $1, 00,000 claim, you will receive just $80,000 in damages. These are the situations where experienced motorcycle accident lawyers are so important. They are aware of the tactics used by defense lawyers and insurers and how to challenge them. If you live in Tampa, FL area you can get in touch with Rojas Law Group if you have any queries about a motorcycle accident claim.

Picture Credit: Freepik

It’s important for every driver to have a basic understanding of their state auto accident laws because you never know whether you may get into an accident. For those living in Florida, here’s what you need to know.

How to Report an Accident

Any accidents resulting in injuries or damages over $500 must be reported to your local law enforcement agency. If there are injuries, you must remain at the accident scene. Always make sure you exchange name, address, phone number, and VIN with the other driver. If at all possible, also obtain the names and numbers of any witnesses, take note of the weather conditions and take photos of the vehicles’ final resting spot.

Insurance Requirements

Since Florida is a “no fault” state your insurance pays the first $10,000 of medical expenses regardless of who’s at fault. Nevertheless, you must still report any accident to your insurance immediately. Please never ever, sign a release from an insurance company without consulting with an attorney. You don’t know if your insurance will cover all your injuries and any property damage that you’ve sustained. If sign a release, you forgo any future law suit and may be short changing yourself. As a driver in Florida you are responsible for carrying car insurance with:

  • A minimum of $10,000 For personal injury protection (PIP)
  • A minimum of $10,000 For property damage liability (PDL)
  • this pays for non-property related costs (e.g. personal injury, lost wages)

Statute of Limitations

When you’re injured in a car accident or have suffered property damages because the other driver was negligent, Florida’s auto accident law clearly states that you have up to four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you get into an accident with a government entity (e.g. a city bus), you must file a 6 month notice of intent to make a claim before you can make a claim.

Comparative Fault Rules

There are times when both you and the other driver may be found partially at fault. Even if are partially at fault, you may still be able to make a claim. Each situation is different so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Evidence needs to be preserved and witness statements taken.

How Accident Settlement Amounts are Determined

When your injury claim is made there are a variety of factors that are taken into consideration to determine case value. Some of the items that are considered include:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The cost of the medical care for said injuries
  • If you have lost wages or will do so in the future
  • How much of the fault is yours
  • The amount of the insurance coverage
  • How much evidence you can provide in support of your case
  • Impact size
  • Whether you’ve been in prior accidents and have been injured.

How to get Help When You’re in an Accident

When you’re involved in an accident the first number you should call is 911. They’ll help you get your car towed, take anyone who’s injured to the hospital, and allow you to calmly exchange information with the other driver. Your next call should be to the professionals at the Rojas’ Law Group. Attorney Rojas experience with the Florida’s auto accident laws will enable you to move smoothly through what could otherwise be a very troubling process.
Picture Credit: Pixabay