Motorcycle accidents are often caused by the negligence of other drivers, but sometimes there are multiple parties that bear partial responsibility for the resulting damages, and whether or not a driver wears a helmet can make a large difference. When multiple parties bear partial liability for damages caused in an accident, courts in Florida turn to the concept of comparative fault.
Comparative fault in St. Petersburg motorcycle accident cases is when the court, jury, or even the insurance company determines that responsibility for the accident lays with one or multiple parties, and the percentage of each party’s fault would then be determined by a jury. Many accidents may seem straightforward, but a jury can decide to what degree each party was responsible for the accident as a percentage.
In the state of Florida, an insurance company or jury can assign a percentage of fault to the individual who initiated the claim, even if they were injured, because of comparative fault. If you have been involved with a motorcycle collision, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to learn about your legal options and get help assigning liability. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney could help you understand the role of helmets in St. Petersburg motorcycle accident cases and how it may affect your claim.
Helmets and Fault in St. Petersburg Motorcycle Wrecks
When a jury is discussing the proportion of fault that each party shares, a biker’s decision to wear or not wear a helmet may sway a jury to believe they are more or less responsible for their own injuries. A jury might assign a percentage of fault to the motorcyclist if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and the jury determines that the victim’s injuries from the accident might have been less severe had they chosen to wear a helmet.
The presence of a helmet on an injured motorcyclist is vitally important to that rider’s ability to seek compensation in St. Petersburg. Bikers who ride safely, wear helmets, and adhere to all possible safety standards could expect to receive the full amount of compensation for their injuries. A motorcyclist may be at risk for reduced compensation if they behave in any way that could be deemed unreasonable, including not wearing a helmet.
If a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet in a St. Petersburg car accident case or anywhere in Florida, the insurance company and attorney for the at-fault party can argue that the motorcyclist could have prevented their own injuries or the severity of those injuries by wearing a helmet. The insurance company for the at-fault party might offer less compensation to the motorcyclist as a result. If the case proceeds to litigation, it is possible that the jury’s decision could be influenced by the fact that the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet.
The type of injuries that the motorcyclist sustained in the accident will likely be scrutinized, as well. If they have injuries to their leg, arm, or chest, their lack of a helmet will be less of an aggravating factor and an ineffective argument for the party attempting to reduce the motorcyclist’s compensation. Alternatively, if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet and they injured their head in an accident, the at-fault insurance company and the jury may determine that the severity of those injuries was increased because a helmet was not worn.
Not only can a motorcyclist’s injuries be more severe after an accident if they were not wearing a helmet, but it can also result in them being awarded less compensation if a jury decides that the injuries were caused or worsened by not wearing a helmet.
Helmets for Safety
Wearing a helmet is a crucial safety precaution for motorcyclists in St. Petersburg. When a motorcycle accident occurs, the motorcycle’s wheels will likely leave the road, and the motorcycle will slide on its side. A helmet in a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident case can protect the operator’s head if they hit the motorcycle, another vehicle, or the road during the course of the accident. Helmets can prevent serious injuries to motorcycle operators, and it is highly advisable to wear one whenever they hit the road.
How an Attorney Could Help With a Motorcycle Accident Case
No motorcycle accident is good as there is nearly always significant damage to property, the rider, or a bystander, but it can be far worse without a helmet for protection. If a rider was wearing a helmet in a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident case, they may be in a better position to recover damages from another negligent party by demonstrating they ride responsibly and safely. Wearing a helmet while riding could save your life, and help you recover more damages if you are injured by somebody else. For more information on how your safety as a rider could affect a personal injury claim, call an experienced lawyer today to schedule a consultation.