There is nothing like feeling the excitement and freedom of being able to ride a motorcycle with no restraints on the open road. The sun shining on your face and wind blowing your hair provides an experience you cannot match while driving most other vehicles. However, while you might not enjoy wearing a helmet, you put yourself at a significantly higher risk of suffering from a catastrophic injury when you go helmet-less.
Not wearing a helmet means a potential accident could cost you nearly three times as much damage physically and financially. High medical bills coupled with lost income if you are forced to miss work, could lead to a difficult situation for most injury victims and their families. Although Florida law allows insured, motorcycle riders over 21 years of age to ride without a helmet, you are taking a big risk with your overall health and financial future.
If you or someone you love was injured in a West Palm Beach motorcycle accident, contact the distinguished attorneys at the Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers law firm today. We offer free initial evaluations to determine whether you may be eligible for financial compensation, by appointment.
Read below to learn more about the motorcycle helmet laws in Florida and reasons why you should wear one.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Florida
While you may see a large number of motorcycle riders not wearing a helmet in Florida, there are certain requirements you must meet to do so. Florida Statute 316.211 only allows riders to go helmet-less if they are at least 21 years old and have an insurance policy of at least $10,000 in coverage. Otherwise, you are required by law to wear a helmet.
If you do decide to ride without a helmet, we recommend obtaining additional Uninsured Motorist Coverage to protect yourself. Emergency room visits alone could sometimes far exceed $10,000 and without this added coverage, you may end up paying the difference out-of-pocket. If the accident was caused by another driver who was uninsured or underinsured at the time of the crash, you may be able to use this additional coverage to avoid paying out of your own pocket. Be sure to look into the details of your insurance policy to check if motorcycle accident injuries are included with your coverage, as some policies may not.
Motorcycle laws vary from state to state. If you are visiting from another state, you still need to abide by Florida’s traffic laws. Many neighboring states require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Some of these states include: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The Benefits of Wearing a Helmet
While it may be your legal right to not wear a helmet in Florida, the benefits of protecting your head far outweigh the negatives. You may think the helmet impedes your vision and hearing, however, studies have shown that this is not the case. While wearing a helmet may seem uncomfortable or heavy at first, it may just take some getting used to.
Not wearing a helmet puts you at a much greater risk for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI’s have been known to cause temporary and permanent brain and nerve damage, internal bleeding, loss of function, paralysis, and even death. Sometimes It could take several days or weeks before you start feeling symptoms, which is why you should always seek medical immediate medical attention after experiencing a motorcycle accident.
Another important benefit to wearing a helmet is directly related to Florida’s comparative negligence law. This means the state may establish that your own negligence may have contributed to your own injuries. If this is the case, your compensation could be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
For example, if your motorcycle crash caused you to suffer from a TBI and fractured bones or lacerations, if you were not wearing a helmet, you may be blamed for some of the damage. The other driver may argue that your injuries would not have been as severe if you were wearing a helmet. If your case goes to trial, the jury may decide this is a viable legal defense, which means you may not collect the full value of your claim.
In other words, if your compensation award was originally $100,000 and you are found to be 20 percent at-fault for the damages, you may only be eligible to receive $80,000. You end up losing $20,000 because you chose not to wear a helmet.
Always remember, when you ride a motorcycle at high speeds, you are surrounded by many other vehicles that weigh tons of pounds. Since you do not have much protection around your head, if you fall off the bike and hit the pavement, you could suffer a severe injury that could change your life forever. Be wise and protect yourself by wearing a helmet so you can live to ride another day.
Learn More About Your Rights to Compensation
Sustaining a serious motorcycle crash often leaves injury victims with severe injuries, which may require long-term healthcare, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Being forced to miss work due to injuries can often leave accident victims feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to turn. Inquiring with a reputable lawyer is usually helpful and advisable to help you get back on your feet.
At the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our attorneys work hard to ensure the rights of accident victims are protected. Our compassionate attorneys are community leaders who are heavily involved with several professional and civic organizations.
Our main goal is to help victims pursue the compensation they need for a healthy recovery. Altogether, our firm has helped our past clients recover more than $100 million combined in successful verdicts and settlements.
Our firm has handled more than 6,000 cases and received more than 600 five-star google reviews. Have a look at some of our video testimonials, so you can see some of the kind statements our past clients have said about working with us.
We aim to ensure justice is served to help the people navigate the legal process throughout the state of Florida.
Schedule a no-cost initial consultation today by calling Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers at (561) 800-8000.