While citizens of much of the rest of the country slog from snowstorm to snowstorm, residents of the Port St. Lucie area enjoy beautiful weather throughout the winter months. One way to take advantage of the South Florida climate is to climb behind the handlebars of your favorite motorcycle. Every time you ride, though, you should wear a helmet.

If you are an adult with at least $10,000 in medical coverage, you do not have to wear a riding helmet. That said, doing so is always a good idea. After all, a helmet reduces your risk of sustaining a serious head injury by nearly 70%. Failing to wear protective headgear may also affect your personal injury case.

Motorcycle accidents 

Despite trusting your riding skills completely, you may not have much faith in other drivers. That is, if you have been riding for any time at all, you have probably had a near miss or two. If you find yourself in the middle of a collision, you likely want to pursue compensation from the negligent driver who caused your injuries.

Comparative fault

Florida has a pure comparative negligence standard. As such, when placing blame for a motorcycle accident, judges may assign fault to more than one person. Each responsible individual must pay damages according to his or her percentage of fault. If you were somewhat to blame for your injuries, you may have to pay for a portion of your own damages.

Your personal injury award

While you likely have no legal obligation to wear a helmet, failing to wear one may make you partly responsible for your injuries. For example, if you have a traumatic brain injury from not wearing a helmet, a judge may determine you are 25% responsible. On a $100,000 claim, your comparative fault reduces your award to $75,000.

When you ride your motorcycle, you probably love the feel of the wind in your hair. Still, riding without a helmet may put your life in danger. Furthermore, if you eventually have a serious accident, not wearing a helmet may limit the compensation you receive.