When police officers pull over people for not wearing their seatbelts, one of the first things they hear is: “If I don’t want to wear my seatbelt, I shouldn’t have to. It’s my life, not yours.” The problem is, whether you like it or not, you are legally required to wear your seatbelt. There are similar motorcycle helmet laws in Georgia.
Some of the reasons why the government started requiring people to wear their seatbelt is general safety. They don’t want to see people get hurt or injured in car accidents. There is overwhelming proof that seatbelts save lives.
Another reason why people have to wear seatbelts comes down to money. When people don’t wear their seatbelts and get hurt, they often need medical treatment. The cost for this treatment will, eventually, trickle down to everyone. If someone has no insurance, then the hospital is stuck with the bill. Or, if they’re on Medicaid, the state is paying for their medical treatment anyway. Regardless, it makes more financial sense to avoid serious injuries if at all possible.
The same thing is true when it comes to laws requiring people to wear helmets. Not only do helmets keep you safe, if you are caught riding a motorcycle without one you’ll face certain penalties. Furthermore, if you get into a motorcycle accident, your claim can be dismissed or reduced if they find out you didn’t have your helmet on. If this is the case, you need to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Macon, Georgia right away.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Georgia
Like it or not, the motorcycle helmet laws in Georgia say you are required to wear a helmet while riding. This rule applies to both the driver and the passenger. Anyone driving or riding on a motorcycle must wear protective headgear. They’re also required to wear protective eye gear unless their motorcycle has a windshield. The only exceptions to this rule are:
- You don’t have to wear a helmet if you’re riding in an enclosed cab or side-car
- People riding on 3-wheelers that are strictly used for agricultural purposes don’t have to wear a protective helmet
- Your helmet (and eye gear) must meet the minimum safety standards
- These standards are set by the Georgia Commissioner for Public Safety
Just because the law states that you must wear a helmet, that doesn’t mean all motorcycle riders wear one. If you don’t, you face the following penalties:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Community service
Keep in mind – the cops don’t typically enforce these rules with the maximum penalty. But you will face a hefty fine and will probably have to do community service. The other problem is that if you get into an accident without a helmet on, it can hurt your lawsuit.
Not Wearing a Helmet Can Impact Your Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Georgia is a comparative negligence state. That means that if you’re found to be partially at fault for your injuries, your lawsuit can be dismissed. Or, more likely, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, your case will be dismissed. If it’s less than 50%, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. The defendant (and the insurance company) will argue that you were at fault by not wearing your helmet. And, they’re right.
Contact a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Macon, Georgia
If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident in Macon, you should call a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer. Most people involved in these sorts of crashes suffer pretty serious injuries. If the other driver was at fault, you may have a claim for damages. The only way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced accident lawyer in Georgia.
Keep in mind – if you weren’t wearing your helmet at the time of the crash, you may not be able to file for damages. Even if you can, your damages may be reduced due to the fact that you weren’t wearing the required protective headgear. Your Macon motorcycle accident lawyer can help negotiate a settlement of your claim. They’ll do their best to get you as much money as possible.
Call our motorcycle injury law firm in Macon, Georgia today and schedule your free initial consultation. You can talk to an injury attorney near Macon who knows the motorcycle helmet laws in Georgia. They can also answer any questions you may have. Let them give you an idea of what your case is worth. They can also give you an idea of how much your claim can be reduced for not wearing your motorcycle helmet. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.