Experienced Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Attorneys Discuss the Importance of Helmet Laws
Serving accident injury victims throughout South Florida
Motorcycle helmets are vital protection for riders who are exposed on all sides and unprotected from the weather. Moreover, helmets provide protection when riders end up in a collision with another vehicle. While there is no guarantee that a helmet will always save a motorcyclist’s life in the event of a crash, there have been several research studies conducted that provide evidence that states that do not have mandatory helmet laws have greater rates of head injuries for motorcyclists. A National Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found motorcycle helmets to be about 37% effective in preventing fatalities, which means that an estimated additional 1,158 additional motorcyclists would have died had they not been wearing a helmet. As helmet use declines, fatalities increase.
At Yeboah Law Group, we are here to represent South Floridians who have sustained serious injuries in motorcycle crashes that were the result of someone else’s negligence. Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys are also here to fight for the rights of our clients who may not have been treated in a fair manner by insurance companies, some of which still have a negative bias against motorcycle riders.
What are the helmet laws in the United States?
While there is no federal law requiring the use of motorcycle helmets, in 1967 the federal government required states to enact mandatory helmet laws to qualify to receive highway funds. In 1976, Congress revoked federal authority to assess penalties to the state for not complying with requiring helmet use, and then states began to weaken their helmet laws making them apply only to young or novice riders. Now about half of the states require motorcycle helmets for all motorcyclists. There are only three states that do not have a motorcycle helmet law: Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire. (Governor’s Highway Safety Association)
What are the helmet laws in Florida?
Florida requires motorcycle helmet use for riders under the age of 16. Riders between the ages of 16 and 21 may be allowed to ride without a helmet, depending on the type of motorcycle and how fast they are going. If you are over the age of 21, you do not need to wear a helmet as long as you have at least $10,000 worth of medical insurance coverage in case you sustain an injury: FL Stat § 316.211 (2016).
The laws can be confusing to read, so contact us if you have any questions about helmet use, or about the amount of insurance you may need.
Motorcycle helmets save lives and reduce health care costs
Saferoads.org reports that all-rider motorcycle helmet laws increase helmet use, decrease deaths and injuries, and save taxpayer dollars. Motorcycles are the most hazardous form of motor vehicle transportation says the NHTSA. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were more than 26 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than the occupants of passenger cars. Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and the risk of death by 42%.
Injuries from motorcycle crashes
While helmet laws can save lives, one of the larger benefits they provide is the reduction in head injuries. Head injuries can be devastating and have life-long impacts on the injured person. A person with a traumatic brain injury, depending on the severity, may not be able to return to the work he or she did before the accident. Some may not be able to care for themselves or their family like they used to. Other potential injuries that can happen in a motorcycle crash include:
- Broken bones
- Facial fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
Will I be able to get compensation if I was not wearing a helmet when I was injured in a motorcycle crash?
Just because you were not wearing a helmet does not mean that you will be unable to recover compensation. When you work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorney, you will have the benefit of our expertise in investigating the crash and holding the responsible party liable for your injuries. What matters is that we can prove the negligence on the part of the driver who caused the crash to occur. If you prevail, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
Motorcycle helmet laws can only go so far. It is up to everyone to decide if they value their life and safety enough to wear a helmet when they ride. Motorcyclists are aware that every time they ride they run the risk of a serious crash. If you think that wearing a helmet makes your head sweaty, feels uncomfortable, or whatever your favorite complaint is, think about how it might feel to be in intensive care fighting for your life because of an injury that could have been prevented or made less severe by wearing a helmet.
Work with an aggressive Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer obtaining justice on behalf of injured clients
When you have suffered a serious injury in a motorcycle accident, you are missing work and facing mounting medical bills, you make the smart decision to pursue compensation from the person responsible for your injuries. At Yeboah Law Group we understand how motorcyclists are not always treated fairly when it comes to assigning fault in an accident. We invite you to call us now at 954-764-2338 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today. We are proud to serve clients in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida.
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