Helmet Use Can Affect Georgia Motorcycle Accident Claims
GEORGIA – An online article from econotimes.com discusses helmet laws in Georgia and the ways helmet use can affect a person’s motorcycle accident claim in the state. Not wearing a helmet can potentially prevent a person from receiving compensation.*
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2016 across the United States. This represents an increase of more than 5 percent from the prior year. Helmets are proven to save lives, and Georgia has made it mandatory for motorcyclists to wear them.
Under Georgia law, all motorcyclists must wear helmets and eye protection. The helmets need to comply with standards from the U.S. Department of Transportation by way of the Commissioner of Public Safety. Motorcyclists can check guidelines for compliant helmets on the NHTSA or the U.S. DOT website. DOT-compliant helmets will usually have a sticker on the back that says “DOT” and will have labels containing the helmet information on the inside.
Georgia allows for a modified comparative negligence system for personal injury cases. Under Georgia comparative negligence, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant is 51% or more at fault for the incident that gave rise to their injuries in order to obtain financial compensation. If a plaintiff cannot prove 51% or more fault lies with the defendant, he/she is barred from recovery.
A plaintiff making claims for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else can be considered comparatively negligent for not wearing a helmet. If a claimant failed to wear a helmet, as required by law, and the other driver can show that some or all of the motorcyclist’s injuries would have been prevented by wearing a helmet, the plaintiff’s financial recovery could be reduced or prevented. More importantly, wearing a helmet can save your life.
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