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Can I File a Motorcycle Accident Claim If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?

If you want to file a motorcycle accident claim in Florida, turn to Donaldson & Weston for strategic guidance at every stage of the proceedings. We are proud to help injured parties put their lives back together.

Unlike most other states, motorcycle riders in Florida aren’t required by law to wear a helmet if they’re older than 21 and have an insurance policy that includes at least $10,000 in medical coverage. Depending on the circumstances, though, failure to wear a helmet could be considered negligent, which can complicate matters if you have to file a personal injury claim after an accident.

In tort law, negligence refers to a failure to exercise a level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. Because it’s common knowledge that wearing a motorcycle helmet is an essential part of rider safety, choosing not to wear one could adversely affect your accident claim if a helmet would have prevented the injury or reduced its severity.

If you are in this situation, it’s important that you contact a motorcycle accident attorney right away. At Donaldson & Weston, we have represented hundreds of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, many of which involved shared liability. Call 772-266-5555 to schedule a free consultation.

Let’s explore the potential outcomes of getting into a motorcycle accident when you are not wearing a helmet:

If You Do Not Sustain a Head Injury

A head injury is just one of dozens of possible wounds you can sustain in a motorcycle accident. In fact, about 1 in 3 non-fatal injuries resulting from these wrecks affect the legs and feet.

If you happen to sustain a serious injury in the lower half of your body, the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet probably won’t affect your claim. As long as your attorney can prove wearing a helmet would not have reduced the severity of the damages you incurred, it should not bar you from recovering a payout.

If You Sustain a Head Injury

Recovering compensation for a head injury can be more challenging if you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Since the state of Florida follows a pure comparative negligence system, though, you may still be able to recover at least some compensation for your damages.

In a pure comparative negligence system, a claimant’s total payout is reduced by his or her own percentage of fault. In other words, if you incurred $100,000 in damages but are deemed 30 percent at fault because you weren’t wearing a helmet, you would still be able to recover up to $70,000.