Despite popular belief, Florida does have a motorcycle helmet law. This law requires all motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets but also includes a few exceptions to the rule.
As a result, many Fort Lauderdale, Florida, motorcyclists elect not to wear helmets. But even if the law doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, riding helmetless exposes you to a much higher risk of injury or death if you have a motorcycle accident.
Here’s an overview of Florida motorcycle helmet laws and how wearing a helmet can protect you in a motorcycle accident. Contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer to answer all of your questions, call us at 954-287-0566.
How Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Accident in Fort Lauderdale
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers have been serving accident victims in Fort Lauderdale, FL, for more than 28 years.
The firm’s lead attorney, Gregg Hollander, provides compassionate yet aggressive legal representation so you can focus on your health rather than dealing with insurers. This approach has recovered tens of millions of dollars in injury compensation for clients.
Hollander Law Firm’s Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys routinely receive high ratings from peers and clients, including:
- AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, their highest rating for legal knowledge and ethics
- 2018 Client’s Choice Award from Avvo
- 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo, the group’s highest possible rating
- 10 out of 10 rating from Justia
The firm can help with your motorcycle accident case by:
- Handling all of the negotiation, communication, and paperwork on your behalf
- Collecting evidence and conducting an investigation into your case to determine your damages
- Filing a lawsuit and bringing your case to court if need be
A motorcycle accident can cause catastrophic injuries, even when you wear a helmet. Contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can seek for your injuries.
How Common Are Motorcycle Helmet Laws?
Florida joins the majority of states by having a helmet law on its books. A total of 47 states, plus the District of Columbia, have laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. Only New Hampshire, Iowa, and Illinois have no helmet laws.
States pass helmet laws because helmets work. According to Florida’s 2021 Crash Facts Report, 6.6% of helmeted motorcyclists and 7.1% of unhelmeted motorcyclists involved in an accident suffered a fatal injury. While this might not seem like a large difference, it means two motorcyclists died needlessly by riding without a helmet.
Helmets also reduced serious injuries. The Crash Facts Report found that 22.2% of helmeted riders and 22.6% of unhelmeted riders suffered incapacitating injuries. This means seven motorcyclists could have avoided incapacitating injuries like brain damage, paralysis, or amputation by wearing a helmet.
Overview of Florida Motorcycle Laws
Florida’s motorcycle law starts by requiring all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet. But then it creates an exception that makes the law virtually unenforceable.
Riders and passengers don’t need to wear helmets if they’re over 21 years old and have health insurance. Most motorcyclists only read the first part of the law and assume that Florida allows all riders over 21 to ride helmetless. As a result, in 2021, 44% of motorcyclists in Florida were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident.
This major exception makes it impossible for the police to enforce the law. Police officers can’t tell a rider’s age from a distance and don’t want to waste time on a traffic stop verifying whether someone has health insurance.
As a result, police officers only stop riders when they have a child passenger who isn’t wearing a helmet. This trend is borne out by the state’s citation statistics.
Fort Lauderdale police only issued 24 motorcycle helmet citations in 2021. Florida Highway Patrol issued another six citations in Broward County. In total, only 30 motorcyclists received helmet citations in a county with over 40,000 registered motorcycles.
Benefits of Wearing a Helmet
Even if you fall within the exception of the Florida helmet law, you should still wear a helmet. According to the CDC, helmets reduce your chances of dying in a motorcycle crash by up to 37%. They also reduce your odds of suffering a head injury by roughly 69%.
Head injuries are the third most common motorcycle accident injury, but the likelihood and severity of head injuries drop when you wear a helmet. Instead of suffering a head injury, you might only suffer arm or leg injuries. And if you do suffer a head injury, a helmet can reduce a potentially fatal brain contusion to a non-fatal concussion.
Wearing a helmet can also protect your right to receive injury compensation after an accident.
Florida uses comparative negligence to allocate fault after an accident. If a claims adjuster or jury assigns partial blame to you for your injuries, you’ll lose some of the compensation you stand to receive. For example, if 30% of the blame for a head injury falls on you for failing to wear a helmet, you’ll only receive compensation for 70% of your losses.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Helmets reduce your risk of a fatal or serious head injury. But they can’t prevent all injuries. Contact Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can seek for your motorcycle accident injuries. Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys can help.