A Motorcycle Helmet Can Affect A Lawsuit

When a traffic accident occurs, there’s always a chance that there may be injuries, since usually a vehicle moving at high speeds is often involved. But when it comes to motorcycles in traffic accidents, the odds of injuries—especially serious ones—goes up exponentially. This is because motorcyclists do not benefit from many of the protective systems in place in cars and trucks, such as seatbelts, air bags and other safety mechanisms. This is one of the reasons why motorcyclists involved in a traffic accident should get the help of a specialized, motorcycle attorney that is familiar with the unique challenges presented to victims in such accidents.

There’s also one other factor to consider when looking at a motorcycle accident, the extent of the injuries, and the final damages that are sought in a personal injury lawsuit, and that is the presence—or absence—of a motorcycle helmet.

Not Mandatory

As of the year 2000, motorcyclists in Florida were no longer legally required to wear a helmet while riding if they wanted to enjoy maximum exposure to the environment. As long as a motorcyclist is over the age of 21, and has an insurance policy with coverage for a minimum of $10000, wearing a helmet and goggles is optional while riding.

However, even if a motorcyclist is no longer legally required to wear this safety gear, that doesn’t mean its presence or absence won’t be taken into consideration in a legal dispute about assigning blame in an accident. As one example, let’s look at a situation where a motorcyclist, though no fault of his or her own, is hit by a car that is changing lanes and does not see the motorcyclist due to inattentiveness. The motorcyclist is thrown from the vehicle and suffers both limb and head injuries. Going to court, the accident victim may find that while a negligence lawsuit can go forward, and compensation can be sought for the limb injuries, the lack of a helmet may mean any head injuries cannot be part of the financial damages sought.

In another situation, if the a motorcyclist chooses not to wear a helmet, or goggles, and then is distracted by an insect that hits him or her on the face, resulting in an accident, and even contact with another vehicle, it may not be possible to sue for negligence at all. In fact, it may be possible for the driver and passengers in the other car to take up a negligence lawsuit against the motorcyclist, since a basic safety mechanism was ignored, that resulted in an accident.

Just remember that when you take to Florida’s roads, the decision to wear a helmet or not is strictly your own. However, in the event of an accident, that choice to wear helmet or do without it can not only affect your own health and safety, it may also be a factor in the outcome of a court case. Always discuss your options with an experienced motorcycle attorney, to make sure you’re taking the best course of action for your legal situation..