According to Florida state law, all bicyclists who are under the age of 16 must wear a helmet that is properly fitted and fastened. Bicyclists aged 16 years old and older are not required by law to wear a helmet, but it is strongly recommended that they do so. The reason for the bicycle helmet law is simple—wearing a properly fitting and secured helmet can reduce the risks of a head injury by 85%.
Personal Injury Claims & Bicycle Helmet Laws
In Florida, if you are injured while riding a bicycle and you are not at fault, you may be eligible to recover compensation, whether or not you are wearing a helmet. A lack of helmet used to be considered as the victim contributing to their injuries, but that time is past. According to Florida Statutes §316.2065(18), "the failure of a person to wear a bicycle helmet or the failure of a parent or guardian to prevent a child from riding a bicycle without a bicycle helmet may not be considered evidence of negligence or contributory negligence."
What this law means is that a victim cannot be considered to be partially at-fault for their injuries simply because they were not wearing a helmet. This means that insurance companies cannot reduce the value of your injury claim based on whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
It’s worth noting that the helmet defense does apply to motorcycle accidents, and a victim may be held partially liable for their injuries if they neglected to wear a helmet while riding. This distinction is especially crucial for cases involving traumatic brain injuries.
Have questions about Florida’s helmet laws and how they may affect your injury claim? Don’t hesitate to ask our Tampa Bay personal injury attorneys. The Paulsen Law Group is dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured, and we are here to support your claim. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our services or your legal options.