Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to severe injuries in the event of a crash than other drivers, as they do not have the safe barrier between them and the roadway that traditional vehicles have. Because of this, Georgia introduced laws making motorcycle helmet usage mandatory. Understanding Sandy Spring motorcycle helmet laws is vital to your safety and wellbeing.
You may consider reaching out to an accomplished motorcycle accident attorney if you were hurt in a recent motorcycle collision. Whether you rode with a helmet could impact the compensation you may be entitled to meaning it is important to consult an experienced professional.
The Sandy Springs Motorcycle Helmet Requirements
In accordance with Georgia Code § 40-6-315, any individual who rides a motorcycle in the state is required to wear a protective helmet that fulfills the criteria outlined by the Department of Public Safety. The motorcycle helmet requirement applies both to riders and their passengers.
In other words, it is illegal to ride a motorcycle without one. Furthermore, motorcycles in Sandy Spring must have windshields, or else riders and their passengers must wear proper eye shields at all times.
Legal Obligations of Motorcyclists
Georgia law outlines the specific legal obligations of motorcyclists, including the equipment bikes should have. These requirements include the following:
- The motorcycle handlebars should be a maximum of 15 inches higher than the seat (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-314);
- Footrests are mandatory;
- The motorcycle should not be used to transport more than the number of passengers for which it was designed (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-311);
- The motorcycle must be equipped with at least one mirror, whether it be right or left; and
- A minimum of one brake light is mandatory (O.C.G.A. § 40-8-25).
While motorcycle crashes frequently result in significant bodily harm, the likelihood of a rider suffering serious or deadly injuries in a crash may be magnified if they do not comply with the motorcycle helmet laws. Common injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, severe road rash, burns, amputations, neck injuries, lacerations, bruising, broken, and fractured bones.
How Shared Fault Could Impact Compensation
The state’s shared fault rules as outlined under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33 may reduce a claimant’s monetary damages or deprive them of compensation entirely if the person is found to be partially to blame for their injuries. For instance, if the claimant was not wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of the accident, the court may determine they share fault with the defendant for the injuries suffered.
As long as the claimant is no more than 49 percent to blame for their injuries, they could still collect damages in proportion to the percentage of their assigned liability. When 50 percent or more of the fault is assigned to the claimant, their right to compensation could be eliminated. An attorney could investigate the claimant’s injuries to help determine where liability lies and could seek to mitigate allegations of shared fault that may otherwise reduce the person’s award.
Consult with a Sandy Springs Attorney Regarding Motorcycle Helmet Laws
If you have questions about Sandy Springs motorcycle helmet laws after an accident, do not hesitate to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who could review your claim. You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured by a negligent motorist. Schedule your confidential case consultation with a Sandy Springs attorney today to discuss possible next steps.