When it comes to any type of motor vehicle accident, there’s always the chance that you may have to sue somebody. Of course, if the other driver’s insurance company pays your claim, you won’t have anything to worry about. However, our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys have handled more than our fair share of cases where insurance doesn’t pay.
Sometimes, when it comes to a motorcycle accident case, we run into a problem. The Georgia helmet law requires that all riders and passengers wear a helmet. Technically, if you violate a law – any law- it can hurt your claim for damages. It all comes down to the facts surrounding your accident and what specifically caused your injuries.
Here, we’ll talk about how the Georgia helmet law can impact your motorcycle accident lawsuit. We will also explain what your Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney may have to do to get you the compensation you deserve. If you still have questions or concerns about your own case, feel free to contact our office directly.
Motorcycle Accidents Are Some of the Most Dangerous of All Motor Vehicle Accidents
Our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys have handled just about every type of personal injury case there is. What we have found is that motorcycle accidents tend to be the most dangerous of them all.
Some people argue that truck accidents are worse. The difference is that, when you’re riding a motorcycle, there is nothing standing between you and the other vehicle.
Most people who are involved in this sort of accident end up with very serious, even life-threatening injuries. This means that their claims are often a lot larger than other claims. Insurance carriers tend to pay small and moderately sized claims because it doesn’t make financial sense to fight them.
However, when your claim is on the larger side, they have more of an incentive to deny it. They figure, in the worst case, they’ll have to pay your full claim when your Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney sues them. But they also know there is a good chance that your case will settle for much less than the initial demand.
Georgia Helmet Law Dictates That All Motorcycle Riders and Passengers Must Wear an Approved Helmet
When it comes to helmet laws, not every state makes it mandatory that you wear one. However, Georgia’s helmet law is rather strict. Not only does the person operating the motorcycle have to wear a helmet, but so does the passenger. The helmet must also meet the requirements set forth by the Georgia Commission of Public Safety. They actually publish a list of approved helmets and eyewear.
If you aren’t wearing your helmet at the time of your motorcycle crash, you may run into problems. Not only will you be facing a fine of $1,000 and possible jail time, but you may jeopardize your chance of recovering damages. The defendant will argue that you chose to not wear a helmet and, therefore, you can’t come after them if you get injured.
In some states, this notion of assuming the risk may hold water. Thankfully, in Georgia, it doesn’t work that way. While your damages may be reduced when the court finds out you weren’t wearing your helmet, there is a good chance you’ll still be entitled to some damages. It’s up to your Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney to make sure that happens.
Your Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney Must Prove That Not Wearing a Helmet is Not the Reason You Were Injured
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-60315, anybody who rides on a motorcycle must wear a helmet at all times. This applies to both the person operating the bike and their passenger.
When it comes to personal injury, a defendant has the option of proving that the plaintiff was partially at fault. They will cite the comparative negligence law in support of their claim. If they’re able to do that, the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced. The way it works is quite simple.
If the defendant is able to prove that you were partially at fault, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, imagine that you were in a motorcycle accident and racked up a ton in medical bills. Your Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney files a lawsuit demanding $500,000. The defendant’s lawyer is able to prove that you were 20% at fault. If this happens, your damages will be reduced by 20%, or $100,000.
One way your attorney can challenge this argument is by showing that your injuries had nothing to do with not wearing your helmet. Clearly, not wearing a helmet is not going to affect the way you drive. It certainly won’t impact the way the defendant acted.
And, if you didn’t suffer any head injuries, then the fact that you were not wearing a helmet won’t matter. This is true even though you may have violated the Georgia helmet law.
Come Into the Office and Meet with One of Our Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
We always tell our clients that they should’ve come to see us sooner. We completely understand why somebody would want to wait to see if their insurance claim is paid before they retain an Atlanta accident attorney.
If your claim is paid in full, then why hire a lawyer? However, if you don’t have an attorney, there is a greater chance that your claim will be denied. Since the Georgia helmet law is strictly enforced, there’s a chance the defendant will argue that you were partially at fault. That’s why it’s in your best interest to hire a skilled Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney sooner rather than later.
We do offer new clients a free, initial consultation. We understand how important it is for you to sit down with a seasoned lawyer before you make any decisions. It’s also important that our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney has a chance to review your case and see if it has merit. We suggest you call our office as soon as possible and schedule a date and time to come in for your consultation.