Who Is at Fault When Motorcycle Accidents Cause Brain Injuries?
Motorcyclists are often viewed as reckless, but more often than not, other drivers cause motorcycle accidents. Florida permits motorcyclists over the age of 21 to ride without a helmet (provided they meet certain insurance requirements); due to this law, riders may be seen as more responsible for any head injuries that occur in an accident. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our attorneys understand the risk of motorcycle accidents and brain injury. We will work hard to prove you were not at fault for the accident so you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Even Helmeted Motorcyclists Are at Risk
Wearing a helmet is the best way to reduce your risk of severe and even fatal brain injuries. In general, motorcyclists are 16 times more likely to sustain fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident than those in passenger vehicles. This is largely due to the lack of framework and other safety measures in motorcycles compared with other vehicles. Head injuries are the leading cause of disability and fatality among motorcyclists.
Studies show that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of fatal head injury by as much as 85 percent. That does not, however, mean a helmet protects you completely. Motorcyclists may still suffer less severe head and brain injuries, such as concussions. These types of injuries may have a delayed onset of symptoms and can cause irreversible changes in the brain’s chemical make-up.
Are Non-helmeted Riders at Fault?
Since the state of Florida allows motorcyclists to operate or ride a motorcycle without a helmet under certain conditions, not wearing a helmet does not automatically result in the rider being at fault. If a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, he or she must have been over the age of 21 and have an insurance policy that covers up to $10,000 in medical bills.
Even if a motorcyclist was in compliance with state laws, he or she may still face bias when trying to secure a settlement for a brain injury. The insurance company and a judge or jury may think because a person operates a motorcycle, he or she is reckless. If a motorcyclist was speeding or moving between lanes before the accident, he or she could be found partially at fault.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Standard
Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that if a person involved in an accident is found to be even partially at fault, the amount he or she can collect in damages is significantly reduced. A judge may determine that although wearing a helmet is not against the law, it is negligent and may therefore reduce the compensation you would otherwise receive.
Contact Our Attorneys
At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, we understand the long-term effects of motorcycle accidents and brain injuries. We also have in-depth knowledge of Florida’s laws and how they might impact an injured motorcyclist’s case. We will thoroughly investigate your accident and work diligently to secure the damages you deserve, which can cover your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.