Operating a motorcycle increases your vulnerability and your injury risk. Your knowledge of the Georgia motorcycle helmet law may improve your physical protection. The decision to wear a helmet could offer emotional and financial security, too. At Moebes Law, our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can advocate for you throughout the process of taking legal action after a motorcycle accident.
What Is the Georgia Motorcycle Helmet Law?
If you have recently started riding a motorcycle, you might wonder, does Georgia have a motorcycle helmet law? The answer is yes. Georgia is one of 19 states, along with the District of Columbia, with laws requiring you to wear a DOT-compliant helmet whenever you operate your motorcycle.
Prior to your decision to ride, you should select headgear that meets DOT standards as well as your personal specifications. Given the variety of helmet options, it could take you some time to narrow down your decision to the one that provides you with the most protection, comfort, and function.
What Is a DOT-Compliant Motorcycle Helmet?
When you plan to purchase a helmet, keep in mind that not all head protection is the same. Georgia helmet law requires you to have compliant headgear. This means it meets the standards provided by the Department of Transportation.
Approved options will have a DOT sticker affixed to the outside back. Beware that some sellers of novelty helmet products offer DOT stickers that people can display on non-compliant helmets. A legitimate DOT sticker will be easily identifiable and not easily removed.
The inner liner of your helmet should be at least 1 inch thick. The stiff polystyrene foam liner is carefully designed to absorb energy and protect your head from the shock of violent contact in a collision. A properly fitted helmet should feel snug, even creating a bit of pressure on your head. It should not move around when you shake your head. It is important to readjust your helmet regularly to maintain a proper fit.
Rivets and straps
Unlike novelty helmets with plastic buckles and flimsy rivets, DOT-approved helmets will have strong rivets and a sturdy buckle. Your helmet should also have a retention system that allows you to adjust the straps to conform to your head shape and size. Once adjusted, there should not be any extra slack. You should not be able to fit more than two fingers between your chin and the strap.
While not required by the Georgia motorcycle helmet law, federal guidelines strongly recommend that motorcyclists purchase a helmet that has some face protection. You might consider a half-shell or three-quarters option. However, a full-face helmet containing a lock-in visor will provide the greatest protection.
What Are the Consequences of Not Wearing a Helmet?
Considering the severity of crashing without a helmet, the short time it takes to put one on is the smartest decision you can make. Choosing not to comply with the Georgia motorcycle helmet law can cause serious, lifelong consequences.
Even if you do not sustain life-threatening injuries, the financial blow of a motorcycle crash can have a devastating impact on your life. You might face the costs of emergency medical treatment, follow-up care, and ongoing rehabilitation. Additionally, there could be costs associated with property damage and the time you spend away from work. Decreased quality of life from severe injuries could create life-long financial obligations.
Riding a motorcycle leaves you more exposed than other forms of transportation, so you do not have as much protection from injury as you would if you crash in a car. Some injuries that could happen as the result of a motorcycle crash include burns, road rash, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and limb loss, as well as psychological distress.
In cases of a severe accident, you or a loved one may succumb to your injuries, leaving surviving family members with little support. The costs of a wrongful death situation can be devastating without compensation for damages.
Will Not Wearing a Helmet Impact a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Given that the Georgia motorcycle helmet law exists not wearing a helmet could jeopardize your outcome if you file a lawsuit after an accident. For one, the defendant could claim that because you ignored the law, you should not be eligible to receive compensation. They might also argue that you did not mitigate your risks, which makes you partly to blame for the outcome you suffered in the collision.
Wearing a helmet is in your best interest to protect yourself physically. However, it may also provide protection from a legal standpoint if you choose to file a lawsuit after experiencing a crash.
In cases where your accident was partly caused by you, as well as the other party, you may rely on Georgia’s modified comparative fault law. This means if you are less than 50% at fault in an accident, you might still be able to collect damages that match your degree of fault. While it might take time to calculate, the court will assess each party’s situation prior to distributing damages in proportion to individual fault.
How Can You File a Claim After a Motorcycle Accident?
You deserve financial support to offset the damages you sustain after a traumatic motorcycle crash. If the accident you endured was not your fault, the obligation of the other party to pay for your damages increases substantially. From physical injuries to emotional trauma to property loss, it could take months or even years to overcome the consequences of your crash.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash, legal help is available at Moebes Law. We understand the devastating impact a motorcycle crash could have on the rest of your life. If you can provide evidence that you were compliant with the Georgia motorcycle helmet law, your chances of a satisfactory settlement might increase. We can make a claim on your behalf and will carefully build your case based on factual evidence. Your best interest is our priority, and we will exhaust our resources to hopefully acquire compensation on your behalf. Contact us at 678-931-8177 or visit our website to get started with a free consultation. We look forward to helping you.