A feeling of freedom comes with riding a motorcycle without the restraints of thick glass that separate you from the asphalt. However, there is also a higher risk of danger that this freedom exposes you to, which could change your life instantly.
While the risk will always be there, you can reduce it by wearing a motorcycle helmet. Miami personal injury lawyers explain Florida helmet laws for motorists and why you should wear a motorcycle helmet.
What Is Florida’s Helmet Law for Motorcycle Riders?
Florida has a partial helmet law, which explains why you may have seen riders without helmets from time to time.
Florida helmet laws state that:
- A person over 21 years may operate or ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet over their head if they’re covered by an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 in medical benefits if they get injured in an accident while operating a motorcycle.
Unless this condition applies, the law stipulates that:
- A person should not operate or ride a motorcycle unless correctly wearing protective headgear. It also must be securely fastened upon the head in compliance with the Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard.
- A person may not ride or operate a motorcycle without the proper eye protection as approved by the department
Other Exceptions to Florida’s Motorcycle Helmet Law
The following exceptions to the helmet requirement also exist in Florida:
- Operating a bike/moped with 50cc displacement or less for persons over 16
- Persons riding in an enclosed cab
- Operating a moped with not more than two brake horsepower (BHP) that can only travel at only 30 mph by persons over 16
Anyone under 16 riding a moped must use a helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, failure to which they contravene the law. Consult Motorcycle accident lawyers in Miami to evaluate your options if you get into an accident while riding or operating a motorcycle without a motorcycle helmet.
Additional Motorcycle Protective Gear Requirements
Wearing an approved motorcycle helmet does not by itself satisfy the Florida statute requirements for motorcycle riders. An additional requirement is to wear eye protection that meets the USDOT standards and excludes ordinary sunglasses.
Protective eyewear prevents dust, insects, and road debris from striking the eyes, causing an emergency. The rider can experience temporary blindness, which can result in an accident. That puts the rider and other people on the roadway at risk of severe injuries. If you get into an accident, as a result, contact a Miami motorcycle accident attorney for a consultation.
What Is the Penalty for Operating a Motorcycle Without a Helmet in Florida?
Motorcycle riders should only ride with a motorcycle helmet that meets federal standards. However, if you want to wear non-mainstream headgear, you must ensure it is compliant. You also must fasten the helmet securely, as merely placing it on the head without fastening the straps doesn’t comply with the law.
Operating a motorbike without a helmet is a non-criminal offense in Florida and a non-moving offense. That means that when caught, you will only receive a ticket and pay a fine.
Do Motorcycle Passengers Have to Wear Helmets?
The laws in Florida can be complicated as far as passengers on motorcycles are concerned. Passengers under 21 years must wear a helmet and eye protection. If the passenger is above 21 and has insurance covering up to $10,000 in medical costs after a crash, wearing a helmet is optional. However, all passengers must generally wear protective eyewear.
Why Should I Wear a Helmet?
Even if you’re in the category exempted from wearing a helmet, you should consider wearing one for your own safety. The usefulness of a helmet includes:
- Decreased risk of death
- Reduced risk of brain injury
- Greater likelihood of recovering injury compensation
In comparison to cars equipped with airbags, sturdy frames, seat belts, and various other safety features, motorcycles have fewer protective features. The clothes on your body, protective eyewear, and a helmet are your only protection. Being without a helmet reduces your protective layer.
Can I Recover Compensation If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet in a Motorcycle Crash?
Riding a motorcycle without a helmet can increase the likelihood of sustaining severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries if an accident happens. Whether you had a helmet during an accident may be crucial in motorcycle accident lawsuits. While it’s within your rights not to wear a helmet, you should understand how it impacts your personal injury case.
The law in Florida is unclear on whether you can claim compensation after a motorcycle accident if you weren’t wearing a helmet. Depending on how your motorcycle accident lawyer in Miami argues your case, you may be able to recover compensation if the accident was another person’s fault.
The comparative negligence principle may apply in your case, in addition to failure to mitigate damages. Since Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, using these two principles could yield the exact compensation amount. Talk to personal injury lawyers in Miami to understand what this means for your compensation claim.
Learn Your Legal Options from an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Miami
Not wearing a motorcycle helmet in Florida is not a criminal offense and may only earn you a ticket and a fine. However, wearing a helmet protects you and minimizes the risk of sustaining severe injuries. It’ll also be easier to file and pursue a compensation claim if you had a helmet at the time of the accident.
Your chances of getting the compensation you deserve increase if you work with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney in Miami. Our lawyers dedicate themselves to helping clients win the compensation amount they deserve. We can fight aggressively to help you recover every penny for the damages. Get in touch with us for skilled legal advice.