Hopping on your motorcycle and hitting the open road is a fantastic way to unburden yourself after a stressful week. There is a freedom that bikers experience that drivers in enclosed vehicles cannot replicate. However, that freedom is not unlimited and it does not come without cost. Motorcycles offer no protection in an accident, and bikers often come out of crashes with serious and permanent injuries. Wearing a helmet helps reduce the severity of some injuries, especially to the head.
If you have sustained injuries in a crash, you could be entitled to damages. But your damages award might be less if you ignored Jonesboro motorcycle helmet laws. Consult with a seasoned motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.
Motorcycle Wrecks Cause Severe Head Injuries
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most frequent cause of death in motorcycle crashes is traumatic brain injury (TBI) to the biker. This organization also reports that helmeted motorcyclists experienced TBI at a significantly lower rate than bikers who did not wear helmets. Those wearing helmets were also less likely to suffer injuries to their face and head.
Severe TBI is among the most devastating injuries a person could experience. TBI can leave someone with debilitating headaches, dizziness, seizures, personality changes, problems with vision, and, in the worst cases, render a person unable to live independently.
Any discomfort associated with wearing a helmet is trivial compared to the agony a severe TBI might cause a biker and their family. The statistics support the contention that helmets help prevent injury, and people should follow Jonesboro motorcycle helmet laws by never riding without one.
What the Law Says
Helmet laws are the norm in most states. Some states make helmets mandatory for everyone, while other states limit compulsory helmet use to young or inexperienced riders. The Official Code of Georgia requires all bikers and their passengers to wear a helmet at all times. They must also wear eye protection unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen.
There are limited exceptions to this law. People operating or riding in motorized carts are not required to wear a helmet or eye protection. People using a three-wheeled motorcycle for agricultural purposes are also exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet and eye protection.
Legal Consequences of Failing to Obey Helmet Law
When a motorcyclist is on the road without a helmet, the police can pull them over and write them a citation. The ticket could trigger a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Furthermore, failing to wear a helmet could limit a biker’s chances of recovering all their damages if they get into a wreck.
To win a lawsuit seeking damages, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent and that the defendant’s negligence led to the plaintiff’s injuries. Failing to obey traffic laws could be proof of negligence in a motorcycle crash.
Could the Lack of a Helmet Hurt a Claim?
Georgia follows a doctrine called comparative negligence, which holds that each party to an accident is responsible for the damages they caused. A plaintiff who is 50 percent or more at-fault cannot collect any damages. If a motorcyclist without a helmet suffers head injuries in a wreck that was not their fault, the defendant’s insurance company might assert that the injuries were due to the biker’s failure to comply with local motorcycle helmet law. In this way, a driver who caused a motorcycle accident could potentially avoid liability to an injured biker.
Talk to an Attorney if Jonesboro Motorcycle Helmet Laws Apply in Your Case
Recovering from a motorcycle crash is tough and healing your injuries should be your main focus. Your odds of preventing major brain damage, as well as securing proper compensation, increase if you follow the Jonesboro motorcycle helmet laws. Call a lawyer today to see how that impacts your case.