Motorcycle use has risen rather dramatically within the past 10 years throughout the United States. Unfortunately, during that same time frame, motorcycle injuries have increased by roughly 5,000 per year and motorcycle fatalities have nearly doubled. Approximately 40 years ago, nearly all states required the use of helmets for motorcyclists regardless of their age. Today, helmets are mandatory for all riders in only 20 states, including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. There have been numerous studies in the past ten (10) years comparing motorcycle injuries and death to the use or non-use of a motorcycle helmet. It appears most studies, on average, indicate a reduction in risk of traumatic brain injury in helmet wearers (65 percent) and decreased odds of death (37 percent). Our Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys have dedicated a substantial portion of their practice to representing motorcyclists who have been injured by the negligence of others.
What is the law in Florida regarding the use of a helmet while riding a motorcycle? In Florida, the motorcyclist must be at least 21 years of age and must maintain at least $10,000.00 worth of medical insurance coverage. In Florida, Personal Injury Protection benefits, or more commonly referred to as “PIP” does not apply to the operation of a motorcycle as motorcycles are specifically excluded under the PIP statute. Most Florida motorcyclists, therefore, become confused as to the requirement of maintaining $10,000.00 in medical insurance coverage. If you have private health insurance that does not exclude benefits for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, then it can meet the no helmet requirement. If you intend to rely upon your private health insurance to meet the no helmet requirement, it is strongly suggested that you request and obtain a Certificate of Coverage and keep a copy with you while riding your motorcycle. If you do not have private health insurance coverage, some insurance companies sell specialized motorcycle policies that provide $10,000.00 in medical benefits. Please note that motorcycle passengers who wish not to wear a helmet must have their own insurance unless the motorcycle operator’s insurance provides coverage for the driver and passengers.
Our attorneys have litigated numerous prior cases involving motorcycle victims who have been injured through the negligence of other motorists in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Polk and Orange County. If you or a loved one have been injured as the direct result of negligence of another motorist, please contact us, your Tampa Personal Injury Attorneys.