One of the reasons motorcycle accidents are so dangerous is because there’s nothing standing between you and the road but a plastic helmet. However, the people who tend to die in motorcycle crashes often suffer head injuries. Wearing a helmet could certainly prevent a lot of deaths in motorcycle accidents. This is why motorcycle helmet laws in Georgia, and almost all other states, exist.
The motorcycle helmet laws in Georgia say that all drivers and riders on a motorcycle are required to wear a helmet. Georgia statute 40-6-315 states that this helmet must meet certain safety standards. The only time a rider isn’t required to wear protective headgear are in the following circumstances:
- They’re riding in a side car
- It’s a 3-wheeler used only for agricultural purposes
Aside from these two exceptions, they must wear a helmet. The question is, what happens if you’re not wearing a helmet and get into a motorcycle accident? How does the law impact your lawsuit?
If this is the case, you really should call a Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer. While the other driver may not be able to claim that you caused the crash, they can argue that you didn’t mitigate your damages. If wearing a helmet would’ve prevented some or all of your injuries, you may not be able to sue. Even if you can sue, expect your damages to be reduced because you weren’t wearing a helmet. To make sure you get as much money as possible, retain a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in Georgia as soon as possible after your accident.
Why Do Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Georgia Exist?
All but three states require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Only New Hampshire, Illinois and Iowa don’t have this sort of law. The reason they have the law isn’t just so they can write tickets. They want to make sure people who drive and ride on motorcycles are safe.
If you get into an accident and aren’t wearing your helmet, you can suffer very serious injuries to your brain. This includes a traumatic brain injury. A Traumatic brain injury can cause both short-term and long-term damages. Some of the signs of a traumatic brain injury are:
- Short-term and long-term memory loss
- Vision loss
- Hearing problems
- Communication problems
If you experience any of these following your motorcycle crash in Columbus, go to the hospital right away. If left untreated, these injuries can be dangerous and even fatal.
Your Damages Can Be Reduced if You Don’t Wear a Helmet
Georgia follows something called a comparative negligence rule. This means that, if you’re found to be partially at fault for your accident, your damages can be reduced. They’ll be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you’re found to be 30% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 30%. This can make a $100,000 claim be worth just $70,000.
Even if not wearing a helmet didn’t cause the accident, it can certainly make your injuries worse. If you suffer head, brain or neck injuries and weren’t wearing a helmet, the court may reduce your damages. In fact, if these are the only injuries you suffer, there’s a good chance your lawsuit can be dismissed.
Your Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer is going to do their best to keep this from happening. That’s why they try so hard to settle your claim out of court. The defendant will know if you were wearing your helmet or not. If you weren’t, they will claim that you contributed to your injuries just as much, or more so than they did.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Columbus, Georgia
If you or your loved are hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident, you need to call a skilled law firm in Columbus that handles motorcycle accidents. Your attorney knows the motorcycle helmet laws in Georgia and will negotiate with the insurance company to try to get you compensation for your damages. They may be able to settle your claim. Worst case, they may need to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Either way, you’re better off having a lawyer by your side when you do this.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation. The first meeting is absolutely free. You can meet with a skilled lawyer who knows how the legal system works. They also know how to negotiate with the insurance adjusters and defense lawyers. Let them work to get you compensation for your injuries while you focus on recovering from your injuries.