Most states have laws that require motorcycle riders to wear safety helmets – and Georgia is one of them. Under Georgia Code 40-6-315, you are required to wear a safety helmet any time you are operating or riding a motorcycle. The helmet must also comply with all safety standards that were established by the commissioner of public safety. This law will play a heavy role in determining if your accident case is compensable and whether or not you were partially at-fault for your own motorcycle accident injuries.
Understanding Helmet Laws
Evidence suggests that wearing a safety helmet while riding a motorcycle reduces the likelihood of serious brain or head trauma. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for every 100 motorcyclists killed in a crash, 37 would have survived had they worn safety helmets. This does not account for the number of serious injuries that could also be prevented in these types of accidents.
For this reason, Georgia requires riders and passengers alike to wear safety helmets.
Will Not Wearing a Helmet Impact Your Injury Claim?
If you are in an accident, the state’s laws and your ability to follow those laws will play a large role in determining if you can recover damages for your injuries. If you are claiming head and neck injuries, the type of helmet and whether or not you wore it at the time of injury will be critical.
When you wear a helmet and suffer no injury.
If you were wearing the helmet, but didn’t sustain neck or head injuries, the helmet use would be irrelevant to your claim. However, it is important that you still mention you wore one – proving that you are a responsible rider.
When you are not wearing a helmet and did not suffer head or neck injuries.
If you did not wear a safety helmet, but didn’t suffer head or neck injuries in your accident, the fact you were not wearing a helmet is legally irrelevant – but may be used by the defense to show a level of rider irresponsibility on your part.
If you wore a helmet and suffered head or neck injuries.
If you were wearing a helmet and suffered from head or neck injuries, the helmet use is critical in your claim. It shows that the injuries you sustained were not made worse by your own actions and it also shows that your injuries could have been much worse; therefore, proving the driver’s irresponsibility.
You were not wearing a helmet and sustained injuries.
If you were not wearing a helmet, which Georgia law requires, and sustained head or neck injuries, it will be difficult to recover any damages for such injuries. While you may be able to recover for other bodily injuries, those related to the head and neck may be reduced or denied entirely because of your failure to follow the law and basic safety principles.
Speak with a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, whether you wore a helmet or not, contact Van Sant Law, for a consultation. We can discuss how your helmet will play a critical role in your case. Schedule your consultation today at 404-991-5950 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.