You can find several motorcycle riders in the sunshine state of Florida. There are more than half a million motorbikes registered in Florida and biking tourism is a huge draw in the state. Any lawyer handling the case of motorcycle accidents have to be aware of the motorcycle helmet law in Florida. It is a grim fact that more motorcyclists are killed in motorcycle accidents in Florida than in any other state of the U.S.
Is it necessary to wear a helmet in Florida?
In the case of motorcycle accidents when there are wrongful death and injury cases, the question often arises, is it necessary to wear a helmet in Florida? Is it possible for the rider to forgo the helmets and does not wearing a helmet affect the injury claim? The answers to these questions depend on different aspects such as how old are you, what kind of insurance you possess, and have you suffered serious injuries to your face, neck, or head?
Helmet law in Florida
Florida does have a proper motorcycle helmet law however, it is not implemented universally across the state the way it was before the year 2000. A legal clause makes it mandatory for the riders and operators under the age of 21 and for those not having an insurance policy to get a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries that happened during riding or operating a bike. In case you are older than 21 and possess a proper insurance cover you are not required to wear a helmet by law. But, keep in mind that all bikers are required to wear some kind of protective eye gear in the state.
If you do not choose to wear a helmet it will not stop you from filing personal injury claims in Florida. However, in some cases, the choice might affect the amount of compensation that would have been rewarded to you. Motorcycle accidents in many cases result in substantial injuries to the rider or the passenger. Therefore, it is a good idea to hire an experienced injury attorney in Florida to fight the case on your behalf.
Insurance laws in Florida for motorcyclists
Florida happens to be a no-fault state for car insurance. But the laws regarding insurance coverage for motorcyclists are different. The usual no-fault law used for car accidents is not applicable here. Bike owners can register their motorcycle without any proof of insurance. Operators have the alternative to purchase insurance cover for their medical expenditure but it is generally not sufficient to cover the damages in case of motorcycle accidents. It also means that the biker has to pursue compensation from the parties at fault. An exception to this rule could be in the case of stacking uninsured motorist coverage bought by the motorcyclist on other vehicles in the household.
In the case of motorcycle accidents, the state of Florida utilizes a pure comparative fault system to weigh the legal responsibility of the crash. It indicates that you are not prohibited from pursuing a legal claim even when you are partially at fault. But, this might mean that the amount of compensation you will receive is going to be less and will be proportionate with the degree to which it was your fault. In case you were not using a helmet during the motorcycle accident, the defense may use a tactic popularly termed as helmet defense for reducing the damages that are offered.
In some motorcycle accidents, the helmet is not a factor. For instance, if you have suffered broken ribs and leg muscle injuries and if you did not wear a helmet at the time, this decision of not wearing a helmet is irrelevant to the legal claim. If during the same accident your head was struck by hitting the pavement and you were not wearing a helmet, the defense might argue that it was your fault. In cases of motorcycle accidents in the Tampa, FL area contact the experienced team of attorneys at Rojas Law Group for a free consultation.
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