According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents cause roughly 5,000 fatalities per year. A majority of U.S. states have implemented helmet laws to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries occurring in these accidents.
The state of Georgia implemented its mandatory helmet law in 1969. This law is Section 40-6-315 in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, and it can affect your motorcycle injury case.
The Georgia Helmet Law
The Georgia helmet law is stricter than helmet laws in other states. The law requires all people on the bike to wear a helmet. This applies to bikers and passengers of all ages.
An exception to the Georgia helmet law is when a rider is in a motorized cart or enclosed cab. The biker does not need to wear a helmet while enclosed.
Helmets used by passengers and operators must be DOT-approved. Helmet standards are outlined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. Motorcyclists must also wear DOT-approved eye protection, including most helmet shields or goggles.
Helmets and Personal Injury Claims
A common and effective defense against a personal injury case is that the plaintiff caused their injuries by not wearing a helmet. This defense is especially effective when the case involves head injuries. The defendant can prove the injuries would not have occurred or would not be as severe if the individual was wearing a DOT helmet.
Personal injury claims regarding other areas of the body are less reliant on whether the plaintiff was wearing a helmet. The helmet should not play a role in the plaintiff’s compensation for injuries unrelated to the head or helmet. However, the defense will still try to use the fact that the biker was not wearing a helmet to sway the case.
Comparative Fault in Georgia
The state of Georgia often allows the plaintiff to receive some compensation for injuries the biker may have caused to themselves. A plaintiff who the jury finds less than 50 percent at fault for his injuries may receive compensation. The jury will decide for what percentage of the injuries the biker is at fault.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A qualified motorcycle accident lawyer is the best choice when dealing with a motorcycle personal injury case. The experts at Amanda Hall Injury Law know Georgia motorcycle law inside and out. We aim to help you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries, whether you or your passengers were wearing a helmet or not.