According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were nearly 600,000 motorcycles registered in the state at one time. It should be no surprise that riding a motorcycle is a popular activity in Florida due to the weather and the gorgeous views. Some people choose to ride a motorcycle as their primary form of transportation while others simply do so for entertainment or social purposes.
Like any other type of motor vehicle, a motorcycle comes with the risk of collisions and serious injuries. Because there is no metal shell around a motorcyclist like there is for cars and trucks, riders can be badly injured if they are involved in any type of collision. Rear-end accidents are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists as they are often throw from their bikes forward onto the pavement or onto another vehicle, commonly resulting in injuries to the head, face, and jaw.
Helmet Laws In Florida
It is always smart to wear a helmet any time a person gets onto a motorcycle. However, Florida law does not require all riders to wear a safety helmet. A motorcyclist can opt to not wear a helmet if the following are true:
- The motorcyclist is at least 21 years of age; and
- The motorcyclist has personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage of at least $10,000.
However, if a motorcyclist chooses to forego a helmet, they may face potentially reduced recovery for any losses sustained due to head injuries that may have been prevented by proper use of a helmet.
Helmets can also be defective and can fail to provide adequate protection in the event of a motorcycle crash. If a rider is unknowingly wearing a defective helmet, they may believe they are protected from serious head trauma until they are in an accident and it is too late. If a motorcycle helmet claims to protect riders and then fails to do so, the negligent helmet manufacturer can often be held liable for selling a defective product that does not perform as advertised.
Losses For Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists injured in collisions can incur substantial losses for the following:
- Medical costs, including for emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, follow-up visits, specialists, medical equipment, ongoing assistance, physical therapy, and more.
- Lost income, overtime payments, and benefits is the injured individual must miss work while they recover from their injuries.
- Physical pain and suffering for serious injuries.
- Emotional trauma resulting from the collision or from serious injuries.
- Permanent impairments, disfigurement, or disabilities as a result of the collision.
Because the losses in these accidents can be significant, so can the financial recovery available to injured motorcycle accident victims if they file a legal claim against any negligent parties that caused the accident.