If you or a loved one were in a motorcycle accident with no helmet, you may be worried that you may not have a case.
However, in Florida, it is possible for injured motorcyclists to recover compensation even if they weren’t wearing a helmet – in some cases. Don’t assume that you don’t have a case just because there wasn’t helmet use during the accident. Keep reading to learn more.
Florida’s Partial Helmet Use Law
While Florida does have laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, it is not a one-size-fits-all law. Florida’s partial helmet use law excludes some motorcyclists from the helmet requirement.
The law says that people who are 16 and older do not need to wear a helmet if they are riding a motorcycle with a motor that is displaced 50 cubic centimeters or less, does not have more than 2 brake horsepower, and is not able to go faster than 30 miles per hour on flat ground.
On top of that, any person over age 21 is legally allowed to ride any motorcycle without a helmet as long as they have insurance covering at least $10,000 in medical benefits if they are injured in a motorcycle accident.
So, if, for example, your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, you may be able to recover damages for wrongful death if they were not breaking any of the above laws.
You May Be Able to Recover Compensation
If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and they were not wearing a helmet, you may be able to recover compensation in a wrongful death case. There are several different types of compensation you could recover for damages.
There are two main categories of damages when it comes to these types of cases: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are recovered to compensate the victim’s family for the financial consequences of the death.
Non-economic damages are recovered to compensate the victim’s family for intangible, non-financial burdens of the death.
Let’s talk about a few different examples of types of damages you could recover in a wrongful death case.
If the death did not occur at the scene of the accident, then the victim likely was taken to the emergency room and treated by doctors there. Depending on how long the victim lived after the accident, they may have incurred a substantial amount of medical bills.
Ambulance bills and hospital bills can add up very quickly, and when the patient dies, the family can be left with a crushing financial burden.
Additionally, if the victim lives, they may have serious injuries that require extensive or long-term treatment. Medical expenses are one type of economic damage that can be recovered in a wrongful death case.
Often, when a family member dies in an accident unexpectedly, their family is left without or with significantly less income. Some victims are the primary breadwinners, leaving the family scrambling to provide for themselves after the death.
Other victims contributed to the overall household income in some capacity, and in this scenario, the family members still experience an unexpected change in their way of life.
This sudden change in income can make life more difficult for surviving family members. That’s why it’s important for you to understand that you can recover lost wages to account for the lost income of your deceased family member.
Loss of Earning Capacity
In cases where the victim of the motorcycle accident lives but is seriously injured and left permanently disabled, the injured person may not be able to work as much as they used to, do the same type of work that they used to, or they may not be able to work at all.
This can contribute to financial stress on the family as they adjust to a decrease in household income. Loss of earning capacity is another economic damage that can be recovered to alleviate the financial stress on the victim and their family.
Mental and Emotional Anguish
When a loved one dies suddenly in a motorcycle accident, their family is left grieving and heartbroken. Mental and emotional anguish is a type of non-economic damage that compensates the loved ones of the deceased for the pain and emotional trauma they have experienced.
Financial compensation can not bring your loved one back, but it is important for you to be compensated in every way possible to bring about justice for your loved one’s wrongful death.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law May Affect Compensation
Although it is possible to recover damages after a motorcycle accident with no helmet that results in injury or wrongful death, it is important to understand how it may affect compensation.
Florida has a comparative negligence law, which essentially means that the compensation a victim or victim’s family can receive is based on their percentage of fault in the accident.
For instance, if it is determined that the accident and your injuries were 40% your fault and 60% the fault of the other motorist, then you can only recover 60% in damages. Not wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle accident may increase the amount you are deemed to be at fault.
In an accident where you weren’t wearing a helmet? Don’t assume you’re out of options.
If you or a loved one was in a motorcycle accident with no helmet, don’t assume that you have no options. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you. An attorney will fight for you to receive as much compensation as possible in a personal injury or wrongful death case.
The experienced lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can help prove the negligence of the other driver in the accident. We have been fighting for Floridians for over 30 years and are known for our success in Florida courtrooms.
Don’t wait to get started – reach out to us today. We will walk through your situation with you and see if you have a case. Call (561) 655-1990, or contact us online now and a staff member will get back to you within 48 hours.