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Riding a motorcycle is great fun, but it does have different laws for use that you should be aware of. A notable law, which won’t surprise you, surrounds the use of protective equipment when riding a motorcycle.
When it comes to auto accidents and injuries, the system for seeking compensation for injury-related losses is relatively simple. Victims should go to the negligent driver’s insurance company and file a claim, with the help of a personal injury attorney.
However, while the process may be straightforward on paper, many things can occur to complicate the process in real life. Can, for example, motorcycle accident victims still recover damages if they weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident?
This post will address just that. We’ll explain the laws about helmets and protective equipment and the path forward for motorcycle victims, even if they were not wearing a fastened helmet at the time of the accident.
Florida statute 316.211 covers several rules for protective equipment for motorcycle and moped riders. The most notable area of this law includes this phrase:
“A person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.”
It’s certainly in your best interest to wear a helmet at all times when riding a motorcycle. Not only will it protect you from injury, but it can make the pathway to pursuing damages after an accident simpler.
However, if you’ve met the criteria outlined in the law, you can still proceed with seeking damages after you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. You’ll need to prove who was at fault for the accident. While you’re busy showing that the other driver was at fault, the opposing party will likely be showing that your decision to not wear a helmet contributed to the injuries you sustained.
Florida law has what is called a comparative negligence law. Under this law, the accident victim can seek compensation for their injuries. However, the total compensation will be decreased by the percentage the courts find the victim was at fault for the accident.
For example, if the settlement amount is $100,000 and the courts find that you were 30 percent at fault for the accident, you can only recover $70,000. The good news about comparative negligence is that you can still pursue damages even if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
The issue of comparative negligence is one reason why you don’t want to try to pursue a lawsuit on your own. An attorney works hard to state your case, prove you were a victim, and avoid any reductions in your compensation when it comes to comparative negligence.
Goldman & Daszkal has experience representing clients in motorcycle accidents whether they were or were not wearing a helmet. We had a case where a motorcycle operator left his home without his helmet. At an intersection, a truck pulled out in front of him, causing severe damage.
The man suffered serious injuries, including fractures to his face and legs. Our team of experienced attorneys went to court to defend this man after he suffered these injuries. Despite the courts finding him partially at-fault for the injuries due to not wearing a helmet, we still secured a solid settlement to cover his expenses due to the other driver’s negligence.
Before making any assumptions in your case, get in touch with an attorney. Our law office provides a free consultation to help victims understand their rights and how they can pursue damages based on the circumstances surrounding their case.
Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about our Florida law firm.
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