Orlando Personal Injury Attorney Tim David discusses how wearing or not wearing helmets can impact motorcycle injury claims
Motorcycle injury Claims- Helmet or no Helmet- What You Need To Know
There are many schools of thought around the use of motorcycle helmets; hence the controversial helmet laws that differ state to state. Florida does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet if you are over 21 years of age and carry over $10,000 in medical insurance, but is that enough to make you feel secure moving forward? There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to wear a helmet or not and how to handle motorcycle injury claims if you have been involved in an accident with a motorcycle. There is much more to the situation than you may think.
Motorcycle Crashes Facts & Figures
- In 2015, 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes, up 8.3 percent from 4,594 in 2014, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report.
- In 2015, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured, down 4.3 percent from 92,000 in 2014.
- In 2014, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and almost five times more likely to be injured. (There were about 8.4 million motorcycles on the road in 2014.)
- 2015 Crash Data: According to the NHTSA, 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015, up 8.3 percent from 4,594 in 2014. In 2015, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured, down 4.3 percent from 92,000 in 2014.
Why Don’t You Want To Wear a Helmet & Why Should You Wear a Helmet?
Some cyclists claim that they like the wind to flow through their hair as they ride in the open air on their motorcycles and some claim that the weight of their helmets could cause potentially more damage when engaged in a motorcycle injury claims accident. There are many varying arguments presented against wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
The facts and figures provided through research provide many compelling arguments as to why wearing a helmet makes sense in terms of pure safety.
- There was a 48.6% increase in motorcycle occupant deaths in 2001, the year after Florida’s helmet law changed.
- As an additional statistic to that stated above, the Center for Disease Control reports that, between 2008 and 2010, 14,283 motorcyclists were killed in crashes. 42% of them, or 6,057, were not wearing helmets. The percentage of bikers killed when not wearing their helmets increased in the states with more relaxed helmet laws such as Florida.
- In states with motorcycle helmet laws like Florida’s, 64% of bikers were not wearing their helmets during motorcycle death accidents.
- According to a study from the Johns Hopkins Medical School, motorcycle riders wearing helmets are thirty-seven percent less likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident and have a sixty-four percent less chance of suffering from traumatic brain injury.
- No matter what the speed, helmeted riders are three times more likely to survive head injuries than those not wearing helmets at the time of any crash.
Florida Doesn’t Require You To Wear A Helmet, So Why Should You?
Answer: It Could Still Cost You; especially in the event of motorcycle accident claims. Florida nearly eliminated the requirement to wear a helmet in 2000, but what many riders sometimes forget is that many claims are still based on percentage of negligence, which often falls right back on the responsibility of wearing a helmet. The law gets slightly complicated in the courtroom when an accident involving a motorcycle results in head and neck injuries or death due to impact to the head, etc. A motorcyclist is required to follow many of the same rules as Florida car drivers, but as we all know, accidents happen.
Florida utilizes a law called comparative negligence, meaning that jurors may assign a percentage of fault to anyone involved in an accident. This means that a jury may decide that a motorcyclist was 50 percent negligent for not wearing a helmet (for example) and they would still be liable for 50 percent of the claimed damages; regardless of the helmet law.
Many believe the helmet law protects motorcycle riders from these types of claims; and this is clearly not the case. Motorcycle injury claims must be carefully examined on a case-by-case basis.
The Motorcycle Injury Claims Attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. Can Help
If you are facing a motorcycle injury claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to an accident attorney at David & Philpot, P.L. for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you decide which steps to take next. There is never a charge for speaking with one of our experienced attorneys and if we represent you, you will not pay a dime unless we obtain a positive settlement for your claim.