Mathew Heilman, a 24-year-old resident of Thornwood, New York was killed and his friend, John Viticonte was admitted to the hospital following a motorcycle accident here in Florida. The incident occurred in January when Viticonte, who was driving the motorcycle, attempted to stop for traffic on a busy Tampa street.
Viticonte reportedly lost control of the vehicle, sending the two men flying off of the bike. Heilman died on the scene after striking his head on the ground while Viticonte was taken for treatment to Tampa General Hospital. Neither one was wearing a helmet. In Florida, bikers over 21 who carry at least $10,000 in insurance are permitted to ride without helmets. All others are required by law to wear helmets.
Choosing and wearing a safe motorcycle helmet is the single best way to avoid head injuries and fatalities in an accident of this kind. Your helmet is the only thing between you and the elements when you are in an accident. The federal government recommends that motorcycle riders follow these guidelines when choosing a helmet:
- The helmet must have a sticker. Helmets that meet U.S. Dept. of Transportation safety standards sport a DOT sticker. Do not buy a helmet without one.
- The helmet should cover your entire head. Helmets should not leave your face unshielded. A helmet should have a faceplate covering your entire face. While other kinds of helmets are legal for use, the full coverage helmet is by far the safest.
- Your helmet should be snug. To properly protect against head injuries, there should be no wiggle room inside of the helmet.
- Close fitting chin strap. Your chin strap should fit securely and have a strong enough clasp to keep it from opening accidently.
- Never reuse a helmet after an accident. Helmet padding is damaged beyond repair by any accident. Once a helmet has been in an accident, even if it looks fine on the outside, it should be discarded.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you may be able to recover monetary damages to help pay for your pain and suffering. The Law Office of Cohn and Smith P.A. has been handling motorcycle accidents for over 30 years, and we can help you fight the insurance companies to ensure that you get the maximum benefits entitled to you under the law.