The motorcycle helmet law is applicable to all motorcyclists in Florida. But, Florida motorcycle helmet laws don’t apply in every situation. However, if it does apply to your case, your helmet must fulfill the standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Here, motorcycle accident attorneys at MANGAL, PLLC in Clermont, Florida explain helmet laws in the state.
Helmet Law for Motorcyclists in Florida
Florida Statutes § 316.2111 is the motorcycle helmet law in the state. According to this law, helmets are required unless the rider is above 21 years of age and has insurance that offers a minimum $10,000 in medical coverage.
If a motorcyclist does not have the required license or they don’t fulfill the age-specific requirement, they have to wear a motorcycle helmet, which must comply with USDOT.
If you have recently been injured in a motorcycle crash, contact our experienced motorcycle injury lawyers in Clermont, Florida for dedicated legal guidance.
Exceptions to Motorcycle Helmet Law in Florida
If you are wondering whether or not motorcycle helmets are mandatory in the state, know that there are a few exceptions to the state’s motorcycle helmet law, which are as follows:
- Riders aged 21 years or above, having $10,000 in medical insurance benefits
- Individuals riding in an enclosed cab
- Individuals aged 16 years or above, riding a moped/bike with less than or equal to 50cc displacement
- Individuals aged 16 years or above, riding a moped with less than or equal to two brake horsepower (BHP) and a maximum speed of 30 mph
All persons below 16 years of age, riding a moped, must use a USDOT-approved helmet.
How to Comply with Motorcycle Insurance Exception in Florida
To fulfill the $10,000 insurance exception in Florida, your medical insurance must offer benefits, particularly for motorcycle accidents. Florida law doesn’t require you to have motorcycle insurance, and your Florida personal injury protection (PIP) coverage doesn’t cover your motorbike, automatically. So, make sure you have insurance that particularly covers costs related to motorcycle crashes.
Repeal of Florida Motorcycle Helmet Law
The State of Florida revoked its motorcycle helmet law on July 1, 2020. The motorcycle law earlier required all bikers to wear a helmet. The change made it legal for some motorcyclists to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
Is Motorcycle Helmet Law in Florida Constitutional?
The constitutionality of motorcycle helmet laws in Florida was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the case, Picou v. Gillum, 874 F.2d 1519 (11th Cir. 1989). The case challenged the law on the basis of due process, privacy, and equal protection.
The court stated that while using a motorcycle helmet is a personal choice, people who sustain injuries in crashes use public services like law enforcement and ambulances. If they suffer disabilities from accident, they can access public benefits. The court also added that although the intent of the law is to prevent injuries to motorcycle riders, there is a general benefit to the public.
Motorcycle helmet laws have been upheld in the whole of the United States as a valid exercise of police power.
Eye Protection Requirements for Motorcyclists in Florida
Eye protection is required for motorcycle riders in the state. The motorcycle helmet law directs motorcycle riders to wear eye protection. Unlike the state’s helmet law, there is no exception related to insurance or age. All operators are required by law to have eye protection while riding a motorcycle.
Penalty for Riding a Motorcycle Without a Helmet in Florida
In Florida, riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet is a non-moving, non-criminal violation. The motorcyclist may receive a ticket and be required to pay a penalty.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws and Automobile Accident Compensation in Florida
In the event of a motorbike crash, a rider’s failure to wear a helmet may be of great significance. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), using a helmet while riding a motorcycle lowers the risk of death and head injury by 37% and 69%, respectively.
Undoubtedly, using a motorcycle helmet enhances safety and the rider’s outcomes in the event of a crash. Having said that, in Florida, its use is not mandatory under all circumstances. It is entirely on the discretion of the rider to avoid using a helmet, considering the risk of injury.
How does the decision of not wearing a helmet impact compensation in a crash? Can a victim without a helmet obtain recompense for all the losses sustained, similar to a sufferer wearing the helmet? How does deduction in damages work legally? To be true, the answer to the questions above may not be quite clear in Florida.
Motorcycle Crashes & Comparative Negligence
When it is to seat belts for automobile drivers, there is a particular law to address comparative negligence. Florida law § 316.614(10)4 mentions that a jury may consider any failure to use a seatbelt as comparative negligence.
However, the state’s seatbelt law is different from the state’s motorcycle law in two ways. First, the state’s law requires all drivers to wear a seatbelt, except those suffering from some specific medical conditions. Second, there is a particular law that allows the jury to apply comparative negligence. These two things don’t come under motorcycle laws.
However, that doesn’t essentially mean that the court can not apply the fundamentals of comparative negligence to motorbike crash cases. Such cases may also be considered a failure to prevent losses. Since Florida uses pure comparative negligence, the two different views may produce a similar monetary outcome with respect to compensation.
Claiming Compensation If Not Wearing a Helmet
As a claimant, it’s necessary to be prepared for arguments related to comparative negligence. Note that even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, the state’s comparative negligence laws can still offer you grounds for fiscal recompense. Your motorcycle accident lawyer in Clermont, Florida needs to be prepared to advocate for your rights and argue for law-specific developments in your favor.
While comparative negligence may play some role in your motorcycle accident case, it is important to partner with an experienced motorcycle injury attorney in Florida who understands developments in the law and who can seek your interests in front of the jury.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Have you recently been harmed in a motorcycle crash? If yes, remember that even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you may be eligible for some fiscal compensation. Contact one of the most trusted motorcycle accident lawyers in Clermont, Florida at MANGAL, PLLC to discuss your accident case and understand your legal options.