Each state sets its own regulations regarding helmet use for motorcyclists.
In Florida, licensed motorcyclists under 21 years old are required to wear helmets and have insurance on their bike. Motorcyclists over the age of 21 are not required to wear a helmet, but if not wearing a helmet they must have vehicle insurance. If they choose to wear a helmet they are not required to have vehicle insurance.
There is a possibility that a failure to wear a helmet could factor into an injury case. Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning if a plaintiff bears partial fault for a n accident or injuries their compensation will be reduced by the percentage for which they are determined to be at fault.
A court could rule that a failure to wear a helmet resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries being more extensive than they otherwise would have been, thus resulting in them sharing some of the fault.
But how exactly could this play out in an injury case?
Remember: not all adults required to wear motorcycle helmets
First, keep in mind that most of the state’s motorcyclists are not required to wear motorcycle helmets while on their bikes.
That being said, even when the law doesn’t require the helmet, the courts will still look at your choice not to wear a helmet as you willingly increasing your risk while on the road. This is why a failure to wear a helmet can increase a plaintiff’s comparative negligence.
This is especially true if a motorcyclist files a claim for head or neck injuries after not wearing a helmet. They may have difficulty succeeding, or at least in maximizing the value of their claim, if they weren’t wearing a helmet during the accident.
For more information about comparative fault and helmet laws in Florida, contact an experienced Manatee County accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.