Florida Helmet Laws And Brain Injuries
While Florida has always embodied America's 'land of the free' attitude, there are some occasions when perhaps that freedom isn't always the best thing. A perfect example of this lies in the rise of brain injuries and death on Florida roads over the last 14 years – since Florida repealed the helmet laws.
Florida roads see an average of just under 250,000 accidents every year – about 8,500 of which involve motorcycles. And thanks to the repeal, motorcyclists in Florida are free to go without their helmets as long as they are 21 years of age and have $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance – or PIP. What that means is that while Florida motorcyclists are now free to feel the wind in their hair, they're also facing much more serious injuries.
In fact, from 2003 to 2006 there was a huge increase of almost 400 motorcycle related deaths. That number dropped slightly during the recession, but it's rising again over the last several years and is expected to increase. While proponents of the repeal claim that those increased numbers are due to a rising number of motorcycle owners, others aren't that sure and already other states that have been debating a helmet law repeal are looking to Florida to see whether or not they should do so. Four states have rejected repeals, but others are still considering it.
No matter what happens elsewhere, however, Florida motorcyclists don't have to wear a helmet when on their bikes. However, if you're involved in an accident and lack a helmet, there's a much greater chance that you'll face death or traumatic brain injury. If the accident is your fault, you'll have to rely on whatever PIP coverage you carry to pay for medical costs. However, with a $10,000 limit in place, that sum can be reached quickly.
For those who are injured in accidents that aren't their fault, contacting a Florida motorcycle accident attorney is a good idea. Once that they have established that you have a case, they'll start working towards getting you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Determining fault means taking a look at a variety of different information to make a determination as to who caused the accident – you or another party. A few things that a lawyer and a court may look at to determine fault include the following:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Witness statements or testimony
- Accident reports filed by police
- Investigation results done by private investigators or insurance companies
- Statements from parties involved
It can take a lot of effort to determine who was at fault, and to take a case through the court system. With many insurance companies fighting hard to avoid paying any fees, it's important that you find a professional who will actually stand up to them. In many instances, the moment they realize that a legal professional is on your side they will begin to work on a settlement agreement.
The biggest reason to find legal help if you've been injured is getting the financial compensation you need to keep your life in order. But right behind that, it's also important because it gives you the chance to focus on your recovery. With brain injuries and serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, recovery will often take up all of your time and energy. With motorcycle accident lawyers working for you, you can make the recovery you need. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.