Riding a motorcycle on the open road can be an exhilarating experience, but it comes with its fair share of risks. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen, even to the most skilled riders out there. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Florida and weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of impact, you may be wondering if you have any legal options available to pursue compensation for your injuries.
So, read on to find out whether or not you can sue if you weren’t wearing a helmet during a motorcycle accident in Florida and what steps you should take next. Plus, we’ll tell you how working with an experienced Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer could help increase your chances of winning your case!
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Florida
In Florida, motorcycle riders over the age of 21 are not legally required to wear helmets if they carry an insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash. However, even though helmet use isn’t mandatory for all riders in Florida, it’s still one of the most important safety measures that you can take to protect yourself while riding.
Wearing a helmet has been proven time and again to reduce the severity and risk of injury during a motorcycle accident – particularly head trauma. Despite this evidence, some motorcyclists may choose not to wear helmets due to comfort or personal preference.
While Florida law doesn’t strictly require all riders to use helmets when operating motorcycles on public roads or highways within state borders, it’s always best practice (and common sense) for everyone regardless of whether they’re legally mandated by their state laws or not!
Florida Is a Pure Comparative Negligence State
When it comes to motorcycle accidents in Florida, it’s important to understand that the state follows a pure comparative negligence system. This means that even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages from the other driver.
In a pure comparative negligence state like Florida, fault is allocated based on each party’s degree of responsibility for the accident. For example, if you were speeding at the time of the crash but the other driver ran a red light and hit you, both parties will be assigned a percentage of fault.
However, your compensation award will be reduced by your proportionate share of fault. So if your damages are valued at $100,000 but you are found 25% at fault for the accident, your final award would be reduced by $25,000.
This can make determining liability and negotiating with insurance companies a hotbed of disagreements after a motorcycle accident in Florida.
The Driver’s Lawyer Will Try to Increase Your Proportion of Fault
After a motorcycle accident, the driver’s lawyer will likely want to prove that you were partly at fault for the collision. The reason is simple: if they succeed in doing so, it can reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
As explained above, Florida follows a pure comparative negligence rule, meaning that each party involved in an accident can be assigned a percentage of fault. The higher the percentage of fault, the smaller the amount you can recover will be.
The driver’s lawyer may use different strategies to increase your proportion of fault. For example, they might argue that you were speeding or driving recklessly before the accident happened. They could also claim that you didn’t signal properly or failed to check your mirrors.
It’s important to have an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer on your side who understands these tactics and knows how to counter them. Your lawyer will gather evidence such as:
- Witness statements
- The police report
- Photos of the scene
- Medical records.
It’s not uncommon for drivers’ lawyers in Florida motorcycle accident cases to try and shift some blame onto injured riders. However, with proper legal representation by an attorney familiar with Tampa personal injury law one can secure their rightful compensation.
You Can Claim Economic and Non-Economic Damages after a Motorcycle Accident
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the damages can be catastrophic. Apart from physical injuries, many motorcyclists also suffer financial and emotional losses as a result of the crash. Fortunately, if you were not wearing a helmet during the incident, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot claim compensation for your damages.
In Florida, victims of motorcycle accidents can recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to compensation for quantifiable monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages or earning capacity, property damage costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident.
On the other hand, non-economic damages include more subjective harms like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or consortium with loved ones. These types of losses do not have an exact dollar value but can still affect your quality of life significantly.
It is crucial to remember that proving these kinds of damages can be challenging without proper legal representation. A skilled Tampa personal injury lawyer can help gather the evidence necessary to demonstrate how much harm was caused by the accident and guide their clients through every step in pursuing fair compensation for their losses.
Even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle crash in Florida; it is essential to understand your rights as an accident victim under state law so that you may appropriately seek restitution for any resulting economic or non-economic harms.
Your Lawyer Will Have to Prove You Suffered Damages as a Result of the Motorcycle Crash
To prove economic damages, your Tampa personal injury lawyer must collect evidence such as medical bills and employment records. They may also consult with experts to determine the extent of your injuries and how they will impact your future earning potential.
Proving non-economic damages is more challenging but equally important. Your lawyer must demonstrate how the accident has affected your quality of life and emotional well-being. This could involve presenting testimony from friends, family members, or mental health professionals.
Call an Experienced Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today!
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and weren’t wearing a helmet, it may seem like there’s no hope for obtaining compensation. However, that is not always the case. By hiring an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer who understands the complexities of Florida law, you can increase your chances of receiving economic and non-economic damages.
Your lawyer will work to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident and that your injuries were a direct result of their negligence. They will also fight against attempts by the driver’s attorney to shift more blame onto you due to not wearing a helmet.
Remember, even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free case review with a Tampa personal injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options and begin pursuing justice!