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Tampa Auto Accident Lawyers > Tampa Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Tampa Motorcycle Helmet Laws

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle plays a significant role in reducing the risk of death or serious injury in the event of an accident. Indeed, the NHTSA’s studies showed that roughly 25,000 individuals over a 15-year period survived motorcycle crashes due to wearing a helmet.

Even still, there are many Florida motorcyclists who choose to ride without a helmet. This can affect their ability to seek compensation following a motorcycle crash involving other vehicles. The skilled Tampa motorcycle accident attorney at Anderson & Anderson can advise you in this situation. We are dedicated Florida personal injury lawyers with over 35 years experience in representing motorcycle accident victims and their families.

Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Florida?

Florida law on the subject of motorcycle helmets is somewhat complicated. Section 316.211 of the Florida Statutes states that a person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle in this state unless they are wearing a helmet that meets current U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards. But the statute makes an exception for operators and riders over the age of 21, provided they are “covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits” if they are injured in a motorcycle accident.

Keep in mind, this $10,000 in medical coverage must be specific to motorcycle accidents. If you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, that does not meet the standard. PIP coverage generally applies to four-wheel vehicles only.

Will Not Wearing a Helmet Stop You From Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Motorcycle accidents are often the result of negligence by another driver or third party. An injured motorcyclist can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and other damages arising from the accident. But the defendant–and their insurance company–may try and cite a lack of helmet use as a mitigating factor.

Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet does not excuse another driver’s negligence. That said, Florida follows a “comparative fault” rule in all personal injury cases. This means that a court must consider how the plaintiff’s own actions may have contributed to their accident and injuries. In simple terms, a judge or jury can look at a motorcyclist’s decision not to wear a helmet as a factor when assigning damages. However, so long as the motorcyclist’s share of the fault does not exceed 50 percent, they can still recover some compensation from the negligent defendant or defendants.

Contact Anderson & Anderson Today

Whether you choose to ride your own motorcycle with or without a helmet, you should always seek out qualified legal advice following any accident where you sustain injuries. Our Tampa motorcycle helmet laws attorneys can review your case, advise you of your rights under Florida law, and represent you in filing any insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits. Call Anderson & Anderson today at 813-251-0072 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

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