Every year in America, there are about 89,000 motorcycle accidents. Many of these accidents, the riders are not wearing helmets, whether to wear a helmet or not wear a helmet is a great debate in our society and is oftentimes addressed by the laws of the state that you’re in. Now in Florida, for the most part, it is a personal choice whether you wish to wear a motorcycle helmet or not. Understand, however, that the law provides that if a rider is under the age of 21, they must wear a helmet. If you’re over the age of 21 and you choose not to wear a helmet, you are required still to have proper eye protection, goggles or face shield of some sort, and in addition you are required to have $10,000 of medical benefits insurance available to you.
So, it is really a matter of choice, but the statistics may help you make your decision concerning that choice. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motorcyclists who are in accidents without a helmet are 15% more likely to suffer a brain injury than those in an accident wearing a helmet. Also, they report that motorcyclists not wearing helmets are twice as likely to die from a fatal head injury in a motorcycle accident than those wearing helmets. While it may not be required, it may still be a good idea to wear a helmet.
We’re often asked, what if I wasn’t wearing a helmet or my loved one who was killed was not wearing a helmet, does that mean they can’t bring a claim in the state of Florida? The answer is, of course they can still bring a claim in the state of Florida. The issue of helmet use or non-helmet use, because it’s not required by law, goes towards one of damages. Oftentimes it’s real difficult, it’s a burden of the defense or the insurance company in this case, to show that the non-wearing of a helmet contributed to or caused your injuries to be worse. The statistics don’t help a lot in that regard, but it does not prevent you from bringing a claim for your injuries received in a motorcycle accident, if you were not wearing a helmet or even eye protection for that matter. It is a good idea to do that, but that’s the law concerning these issues concerning helmet versus no helmet in a motorcycle crash.