Each state has its own motorcycle helmet laws; understanding these laws is critical if you are involved in a motorcycle accident.
In Florida, the law requires all motorcyclists and passengers under 21 years of age to wear a helmet that meets the federal standards set by the United States Department of Transportation. Even though this law only applies to anyone under 21, it’s essential for anyone who operates or rides on a motorcycle in Florida to understand what the law requires and how it can affect their case if they get into a crash.
What You Need to Know about Motorcycle Helmets in FL
Part of meeting the standards the U.S. Department of Transportation sets means that helmets must include labels that show they meet those standards.
The DOT has various requirements for motorcycle helmets, such as having an inner liner that is thick enough to absorb energy from an impact, having straps that will stay securely fastened during a crash, and having no protruding parts that could cause additional injury during an accident.
In addition, riders must also make sure their helmets have functioning eye protection devices like goggles or face shields.
Is It Really That Important to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet When Riding in Florida?
Short answer: yes. The importance of wearing a helmet cannot be overstated, as it can protect you from severe injury or death during an accident. No one wants that!
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets saved 1,859 lives in 2017 alone. In 2019, the NHTSA said helmets saved 1,872 people. Additionally, wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by 69%, while not wearing one increases your risk of head injury by nearly three times, according to Harvard University’s School of Public Health research.
How Can Helmet Usage Impact Florida Personal Injury Cases?
In addition to protecting yourself from serious injuries or death caused by an accident, wearing a helmet can also impact any personal injury cases related to the accident.
For example, if you were involved in an accident while not wearing a helmet, then you may be held partially liable for your own injuries since you did not follow the law, which states that all riders under 21 must wear helmets when riding motorcycles in FL.
This means that any financial compensation you receive from your personal injury claim may be reduced due to your own negligence in not following the state-mandated law on helmets. On the other hand, if you were wearing a properly fitting helmet at the time of the accident, then this could help strengthen your case since it shows that you took reasonable precautions against potential harm due to negligence on another person’s part.
With So Many Benefits to Wearing a Helmet, Why Wouldn’t You?
Wearing a properly fitting motorcycle helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle is not only required by Florida state law for everyone under 21, it is also essential for protecting yourself against serious injuries or death during an accident. Additionally, wearing a helmet may have implications on any personal injury cases related to such accidents since it can show whether or not reasonable precautions were taken beforehand, which could affect any financial compensation received from those cases.
Regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet or not, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, reach out immediately to our office. Our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys understand how these laws work and can provide legal guidance to help you build the most robust case possible and give you the best chance at winning the compensation you need and deserve. So you can get back to living your life.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.