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Florida Motorcycle Helmet Laws

motorcycleMotorcycle accidents can lead to devastating and long-term consequences for a rider. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you should reach out to a skilled Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand the nuances of personal injury law and can put this knowledge to use in your case.

Florida helmet laws have changed several times in the last few decades. After repealing most of the provisions in the mandatory helmet law in 2000, Florida updated the law in 2010 due to statistics that showed the number of deadly crashes had increased by 21 percent.

Florida’s motorcycle helmet law is codified in Florida Statutes section 316.211. Under this law, an individual may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the individual is properly wearing protective headgear that is securely fastened upon his or her head, which complies with federal safety guidelines. The following provisions are perhaps the most important:

  • Every motorcycle rider under the age of 21 is required to wear a helmet;
  • Riders over the age of 21 can ride a motorcycle without a helmet if they can prove they are covered by a $10,000 medical insurance policy to cover any injuries that may arise as a result of a crash; and
  • Individuals who are 16 or older who are operating a motorcycle that is incapable of going faster than 30 mph on level ground must be powered by a motor that has a maximum displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or else is not in excess of two brake horsepower.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in states with mandatory helmet laws, nearly 100 percent of riders wear helmets. However, in states without mandatory helmet laws, only 50 percent of riders choose to wear a helmet. The NHTSA found that 56 percent of Florida motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2011 were not wearing a helmet.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. Florida follows the “comparative negligence” doctrine, which means that jurors can assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the accident. As a result, if a driver negligently caused an accident by hitting a motorcycle, and the rider sustained a head injury that could have been prevented or less severe if he or she were wearing a helmet, a percentage of fault may be attributed to the rider. For example, the jury may determine the rider was 20 percent at fault for his or her injuries by not wearing a helmet, and if the total award were $100,000, it would be reduced by that 20 percent, leaving the rider to take home a total of $80,000. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami motorcycle accident attorneys have the energy and knowledge to handle your motorcycle claim. We proudly represent clients across South Florida. To discuss your case in more detail, feel free to call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.

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