Wearing a helmet isn’t just good sense—it’s required under Florida law. Motorcyclists are far less protected than people driving cars, trucks, vans or SUVs. If you’re involved in an accident without wearing a helmet, you’re far more likely to suffer serious head and neck injuries.
According to the National Safety Council, wearing a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet is estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle drivers, and 41 percent effective for motorcycle passengers.
What happens if you’re injured in an accident while not wearing a helmet?
Auto accidents are usually litigated under a theory of negligence. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff, they breached that duty and as a result, they suffered actual harm.
However, motorcyclists are also expected to obey all traffic laws—including wearing a helmet. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that multiple parties can share fault for an accident—and the extent of the injuries suffered.
Therefore, if you’re involved in an accident while not wearing a helmet, you may be deemed partially at fault for the extent of your injuries. This reduces the amount of compensation you can recover. For example, you may be judged 20 percent at fault for your injuries for not wearing a helmet. If you recovered $100,000 from a negligent defendant, you would only receive $80,000.
Some motorcyclists fail to file a claim because they fear their lack of helmet will completely bar compensation. However, it’s important you talk to a personal injury attorney. You may still be able to pursue compensation, depending on the individual circumstances of your case.
If you’ve been injured in an accident as a result of someone’s negligence or recklessness, contact a trusted Sarasota, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.