While most people aren’t required by Florida law to wear a bicycle helmet, it’s always a great idea. A bike helmet isn’t a magic device, one that will ensure you can’t be hurt if you’re in a bicycle accident. But it could very well make the difference between recovering completely or suffering a debilitating injury that will last for a lifetime. No matter what the cause of your bike accident is, a helmet could possibly even make the difference between life and death.

An experienced bicycle accident attorney with The Eberst Law Firm will have the skill and resources needed to help you obtain maximum compensation. If you’ve suffered a severe injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault – whether or not you were wearing a helmet – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can give us a call at 1-888-CALL-JON for a free, no-obligation review of your case, or you can use our online contact form.

Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics

While Florida is one of the most beautiful states in which to ride a bicycle, it’s unfortunately also one of the most dangerous.

In 2021 alone, there were nearly 6,000 bicycle accidents. These not only led to 169 fatalities, they also resulted in more than 5,500 injuries. More than 80% of those fatalities took place due to the negligence of a motorist. There were 759 accidents in which bicyclists suffered life-threatening injuries. Drivers were to blame in 76% of them.

Types of Injuries Associated with Bike Accidents

Bicyclists are obviously incredibly vulnerable when sharing the road with any kind of vehicle. When a bike gets hit, the rider will be at risk of being severely hurt. These are just some of the more common injuries that occur on a regular basis.

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding due to organ injuries
  • Dislocated and broken bones
  • Road rash and other types of severe lacerations

But one of the most devastating kinds of bicycle accident injuries that can take place – and one of the easiest to prevent – is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Wearing a bicycle helmet can greatly reduce the risk of suffering a TBI. That’s not just a guess – that’s a fact backed by scientific research.

According to one study, wearing a bike helmet can lower the risk of suffering a TBI by as much as 70% and a fatal head injury by about 65%. If you wear a helmet, you’ll be 51% less likely to suffer any kind of head injury at all.

Does Florida Law Require a Helmet While Riding?

But even though the numbers continue to support the safety of wearing a helmet, Florida law doesn’t require one for the vast majority of people. As long as you’re older than 16, you don’t need to wear one. If, however, a bicycle rider or passenger is younger than 16, they have to wear a properly-fitting helmet, one that must be secured to their head by a strap.

Will Bicycle Helmet Use Impact My Case?

If you’ve been seriously hurt in a bicycle accident, you’re going to have monetary losses, known as damages. These include your lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and more. If you decide to take legal action against the motorist who caused the accident, you’ll be doing so in an effort to recover your damages.

But what if you chose not to wear a bike helmet at the time the accident took place? Will that make it harder for you to get the money you deserve? That could be a possibility.

The insurance company of the at-fault driver is going to do everything it can to reduce the amount of money you receive. If the insurer has its way, you won’t receive a dime. Therefore, the insurer will probably claim that you don’t deserve maximum compensation because you chose not to wear a helmet. They may say you made your injuries worse as a result of that decision.

But if you have a seasoned lawyer on your side, they will conduct an investigation into the accident, gathering the evidence needed to prove your case. A strong legal representative will be able to counter any claim the insurer makes, helping you obtain every penny you deserve.

How to Choose a Safe Helmet & Other Cycling Safety Tips

When shopping for a helmet, the most important thing you can do is take your time. Go to a store that specializes in bicycles, with knowledgeable employees who ride themselves. They’ll be able to show you the very best bicycle helmets that will offer maximum protection.

There are also several other safety tips you should keep in mind, including the following:

  • Always make sure you’re visible, regardless of the time of day. This will obviously be even more important at night. There are far too many instances of riders being severely hurt – or even killed – simply because the driver of a vehicle couldn’t see them. Never go on a bike trip without making sure yours has lights, reflectors, and reflective tape. Also, wear clothing that does a good job of reflecting light as well if you’ll be riding after sunset.
  • You have as much of a duty to follow the rules of the road as someone driving a car, truck, or any other kind of vehicle. Only use designated bicycle lanes when available, and never try to maneuver between vehicles that are stuck in traffic. Ride with the flow of traffic – not against it – and always obey all signals and signs. If you’re not sure about how to properly signal a turn or stop with your hands, learn right away.
  • Always check your bike from top to bottom before you take it out. Maintain the tires, steering, bike chain, and brakes on a regular basis.

Contact Eberst Law Firm to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

Remember that a bike accident attorney with The Eberst Law Firm is standing by to provide you with the expert legal representation you need. Schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling 1-888-CALL-JON as soon as possible.