Motorcycle Crashes Without a Helmet
Motorcycle crashes cause numerous deaths and catastrophic injuries each year. The head is an extremely vulnerable part of the body. Without a helmet, you could face significant neck, brain, or skull injuries after capsizing on your motorcycle. People who were involved in motorcycle crashes without a helmet should be aware that the insurer for an at-fault driver may try to use that against them to avoid paying damages. You should consult the experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers at Van Sant Law as soon as possible.Motorcycle Crashes Without a Helmet
Georgia has a mandatory helmet law. Georgia requires almost every motorcyclist when operating or riding a motorcycle to wear a helmet. However, there is an exception for anyone riding in a motorized cart or enclosure. All motorcycle helmets are supposed to meet the standards of the Department of Transportation. The standards include requirements for penetration resistance, system effectiveness, and impact attenuation.
Riding without a helmet while operating a motorcycle can result in fines and jail time. Importantly, it also can result in serious injuries or death. Many people cannot afford the medical bills and loss of income occasioned by serious injuries that arise out of a motorcycle crash.Liability
To hold another driver liable for your injuries after a motorcycle crash, you will likely need to prove negligence. This means that you will need to show that you were owed a duty of care by the other driver, the other driver breached that duty, the breach caused your injuries, and you sustained damages. A driver may breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding, tailgating, weaving, failing to obey signs and signals, texting while driving, or drunk driving. You can also hold a motorcyclist responsible if you were a passenger injured in a crash as a result of the motorcyclist’s negligence.Comparative Negligence
The defendant may look for ways in which you were at fault. Georgia follows a rule of modified comparative negligence, under which your damages can be reduced by an amount equal to your fault. In Georgia, you will be barred from recovering damages if you were 50% or more at fault for the accident. Failing to wear a helmet may be regarded by the court as comparative negligence. If your injuries have nothing to do with the parts of the body protected by the helmet, such as the legs, torso, or back, it will be easier for your attorney to argue that there was no comparative negligence in connection with your injuries. However, if you sustained a skull fracture or traumatic brain injury, and you were not wearing a helmet, the jury could decide that you were partly or fully to blame for your injuries, and you would need to bear the cost of these injuries yourself. Accordingly, it is critical to seek knowledgeable legal counsel in cases involving motorcycle crashes without a helmet.Damages
If we can establish liability in a motorcycle crash case, you can recover damages. Usually, these are compensatory damages, or damages intended to make you whole. They can include mental anguish, pain and suffering, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, medical bills, and lost wages. You can only recover punitive damages in a motorcycle accident lawsuit if there were aggravating circumstances. Under O.C.G.A. section 51–12–5.1(B), actions must have shown oppression, wantonness, fraud, malice, willfulness, or conscious indifference to consequences for punitive damages to be warranted. Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for egregious conduct and deter future similar conduct.Retain an Atlanta Attorney After a Motorcycle Crash
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash without a helmet and believe that someone else was at fault, you should talk to the seasoned personal injury attorneys at Van Sant Law. We are an adapting and safety-conscious law firm. We can sign you up electronically without face-to-face interactions, and we can also visit you in person at your home when that is preferable. We represent clients throughout Georgia, and we have offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Gainesville. Call us at 855-GA-INJURY or complete our online form.