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Wearing a helmet offers more than just physical protection

Florida, like many other states, has laws requiring certain motorcyclists to wear helmets. Though not always a popular rule, the law is based on good intentions: to protect motorcyclists who get into a motorcycle accident. But physical safety is just one reason why Floridians should wear a helmet. A second reason is legal: wearing a helmet may reduce a person's legal liability, which has important consequences following the accident.

What is the main consequence? Money. More of it. Wearing a helmet can, in effect, make a person money.

How so? Because a motorcyclist who wears a helmet is being responsible. By contrast, a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is being negligent. That difference will be used against a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet. Specifically, the person who caused the accident will argue that the motorcyclist should get less money because he or she acted negligently.

Let's see how this idea plays out with a concrete example. Assume that a motorcyclist was cruising down a road, the wind whipping through his hair when an SUV nicks him, sending him sliding across the pavement. Assume further that the motorcyclist suffered $100,000 in medical bills. Because the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet, he was probably negligent. If, for instance, a court concluded that the motorcyclist was 30 percent negligent, then the motorcyclist would only receive $70,000 rather than the full $100,000. On the other hand, a motorcyclist wearing a helmet may have received the full amount.

Whether a motorcyclist was wearing a helmet is just one of many issues that a Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident may encounter. To understand and deal with these issues, Floridians may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced motorcycle-accident attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Helmet Laws and Motorcycle Accident Cases," Accessed Dec. 20, 2016

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