Can Not Wearing A Helmet Affect My Bicycle Accident Claim?
Bicycle accidents are quite common in Florida. According to the FLHSMV, in 2021, the Sunshine state witnessed a total of 5,646 bicycle crashes, which resulted in 153 fatalities and 5,281 injuries. Monroe County alone saw a total of 77 bicycle accidents, which resulted in 75 injuries and 2 deaths. From these numbers, it is evident that if a bicycle accident does not result in death, it will most likely result in injuries. This is usually the case with bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles. Fortunately, Florida allows bicycle accident victims to recover compensation from negligent parties.
Suppose you suffered a head injury in a Florida Keys bicycle accident. In that case, you might be wondering whether failure to wear a helmet can prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries and damages. You might be asking yourself whether Florida law requires all bicyclists to wear helmets. Keep reading to learn about Florida bicycle helmet laws and how the failure to wear a bicycle helmet can affect your bicycle accident claim.
Florida Bicycle Helmet Laws
According to Florida Statute 316.2065, any bicycle rider or passenger below the age of sixteen must wear a bicycle helmet. So, simply put, Florida law does not require all bicyclists to wear bicycle helmets. For those required to wear bicycle helmets, the law requires that they wear helmets that are correctly fitted and fastened securely upon their head by a strap. Additionally, any helmet that a bicycle rider or passenger wears must meet the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets.
Nevertheless, even though there is no mandatory rule that expects all bicyclists to wear helmets in Florida, it is recommendable that you wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, regardless of your age. Head injuries are quite common in bicycle accidents, and anyone, irrespective of their age, is at risk of suffering a head injury. A bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of suffering a head injury in a bicycle accident. According to research, bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of a severe traumatic brain injury by 51%.
Helmets and Bicycle Accident Claims
If you were injured in a Florida Keys bicycle accident and were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, an attorney can help you recover compensation from the at-fault party. Generally, in Florida, the failure to wear a helmet does not bar a bicycle accident victim from recovering compensation. Florida Statute 316.2065(18) specifically states that the failure to wear a bicycle helmet or ensure a child wears a helmet when riding a bicycle may not be considered evidence of negligence or contributory negligence. The defense may try to argue that your failure to wear a helmet caused your head injury (i.e. a helmet would have prevented your head injury). The jury should never hear this argument, however, pursuant to Florida Law. If you suffered a head injury as a result of a bicycle accident, you should immediately call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys to explain your rights. Let us speak to the insurance company on your behalf.
Contact a Key West & Marathon Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Contact one of our Key West & Marathon bicycle accident lawyers at Florida Keys Injury to discuss your case and help you secure emergency medical treatment.