Prominent Motorcycle Helmet Attorney Killed in Tragic Accident

One of the proponents of the law that ensures that motorcycle riders in Florida do not have to wear helmets was killed in a motorcycle accident recently. Attorney Ron Smith and his girlfriend were on their way to a funeral on Smith’s motorcycle when Smith lost control of his bike and crashed into a truck towing a trailer in front of him according to an article from The Guardian. Both were determined by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner to have died from blunt force trauma to the head, likely from when they were ejected from the bike, given that neither was wearing a helmet.

Smith was known for representing Florida motorcyclists who challenged the state’s previous law requiring that all motorcyclists wear helmets. Due in part to his efforts, the Florida Legislature in 2000 made it optional to wear a helmet for motorcyclists over the age of 21 while driving a motorcycle as long as the motorcyclist carries at least $10,000 in insurance.

Not Wearing a Helmet May Decrease Your Recovery Even in Accidents Where You Were Not At Fault 

While not mandatory under Florida law if you are over 21 and carry the required minimum amount of insurance, wearing a helmet any time you are on a motorcycle is simply a good idea. If you are in an accident and do not have a helmet on, then your chances of being seriously injured or killed increase considerably. In addition, if you were not at fault in an accident, but were instead injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in an accident in which you were not wearing a helmet, a jury may decide that you were negligent for not wearing a helmet. The jury finding you negligent for not wearing a helmet would result in you recovering less money than if you made the choice to wear a helmet and were not found to be at fault for any exacerbation of your injuries caused by the fact that you were helmetless. Therefore, although it is your right under Florida law to decide whether or not to wear a helmet (assuming you are 21 and carrying sufficient insurance), doing so may increase the compensation you can expect to receive from the accident in which you were injured.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

It is a sad day any time someone is killed in an accident, a tragedy that happens far too often on the roads of the Sunshine State. Even though it is your right under Florida law to decide whether to wear a helmet or not while riding a motorcycle (assuming you are at least 21 and carry the minimum amount of insurance required under Florida law), wearing a helmet often is simply the smart decision. It can increase not only your chances of surviving an accident or suffering more minor injuries than if your head were unprotected, but it can also increase the potential recovery you may expect to receive if you are in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence given the jury likely will not assess you any fault in causing your own injuries due to your choice not to wear a helmet.

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of combined legal practice representing victims of motor vehicle and other accidents in Florida, including those injured while riding on a motorcycle, both while wearing a helmet and when our client was not wearing a helmet. Either way, we will fight tooth and nail for you to recover the full compensation you are entitled to under Florida law. Therefore, if you, a family member, or a loved one have been injured by someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.