Can Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Motorcycle accidents tend to cause catastrophic injuries and costly financial losses. When another driver is liable for an accident, they should be held accountable for the economic and noneconomic damages related to the crash. However, Florida follows a system of comparative negligence, which means that many factors are taken into consideration when determining the amount of a motorcycle accident claim.
Riders often ask if not wearing a helmet can affect a motorcycle accident claim. Here, motorcycle accident lawyers at Chanfrau and Chanfrau explain how riders in Daytona Beach, FL, Palm Coast, FL, and surrounding areas may expect their accident claim to be impacted if they choose to ride without a helmet.
Florida Helmet Laws
The reason that helmet use and accident claims come into question in Florida is because it is one of the few states that does not legally require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. According to Florida law, riders under the age of 21 must wear a motorcycle helmet, but those aged 21 and older can legally ride without a helmet, provided they carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage.
Motorcycle Accidents and Comparative Negligence
When a motorcycle accident (or any other type of vehicular accident) occurs, insurance companies must determine who is at-fault for the collision. The at-fault party is then typically held accountable for accident damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, Florida follows a system of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence means that, even if one party is found to have caused an accident, they may not be responsible for all accident damages.
Under a comparative negligence system, each involved party can be found partially liable for accident damages. Insurance companies or the court assign a percentage of liability based on how a driver’s (or rider’s) actions may have contributed to an accident or worsened accident damages. For instance, if a driver runs a red light, they may cause an accident, but if someone in the struck car was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, they may be assigned partial liability, because their damages could have been lessened by proper seat belt use.
How an Accident Claim May Be Affected by Non-Helmet Use
Even though some Florida riders are legally exempt from wearing a helmet, choosing not to wear one can have an effect on a motorcycle accident claim. Most likely, a rider would be found liable for at least part of the damages related to facial or head injuries, since the defense could argue that those types of injuries could have been prevented (or lessened) by a helmet.
Although an accident claim can be impacted by non-helmet use, that doesn’t mean that accident victims don’t still have a valid case. If another driver’s reckless actions cause a crash, they should be assigned the majority of accident liability, which means that accident victims could still collect significant financial compensation for damages. Our lawyers work with motorcycle accident victims in the Daytona Beach area to pursue maximum damages for accident losses.
Get in Touch
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another person or party, you may be due substantial financial compensation for accident damages, whether you were wearing a helmet or not. To discuss your claim with the knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau, contact our law firm online, or call (386) 258-7313.