How Will Failing To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet Affect Your Accident Claim?
Georgia has had a universal motorcycle helmet law on the books since 1969. The law is meant to protect all motorcycle operators and passengers by requiring them to wear a helmet any time they are on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents still happen and when they do, bikers sustain injuries that are often catastrophic. When a biker was not wearing a helmet at the time, they may wonder if that can be held against them after a crash. Due to the universal helmet law, it might.
Negligence Per Se
Under Georgia law, any time a motorist violates the Uniform Rules of the Road, they can be found negligent per se. This means they can be found at least partly liable for paying damages after an accident. For example, if you do not wear a motorcycle helmet and suffer a serious head injury during a crash, you may be found partly at fault for your injuries. If you had complied with the law and worn a helmet, you could have minimized the severity of the injury.
How Comparative Fault Affects Your Claim
If you are found partly liable for an accident in which you were not wearing a helmet, you will be assigned a certain percentage of fault. Georgia is a comparative fault state, which means you may still be able to claim damages even if it is found you contributed to the crash. The state uses a modified version of comparative fault and so, you can only collect damages if you were 49 percent or less to blame. Any damages you are awarded will be reduced by your same percentage of fault.
For example, you may be found 20 percent at fault for not wearing a helmet that could have lessened the severity of your injuries. If you are awarded $100,000 for your injuries, you will receive $80,000 because $20,000 will be deducted from the total damages.
Collecting Damages if You Did Not Suffer a Head Injury
Failing to wear a helmet may not impact your claim as much if you did not suffer any head injuries during the crash. A helmet only protects your face, head, and brain. It is not going to prevent a broken arm if you are involved in an accident. It is going to be far more difficult for the other side to argue that a helmet could have lessened the severity of your injuries when the safety gear does not protect that area of the body.
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Marietta Can Advise on Your Case
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash, our Marietta motorcycle accident lawyer at The Strickland Firm can assist with your case. We know the unique challenges these cases present, and how to overcome them so you obtain the maximum damages you are entitled to. Call us now at 1-844-GAJUSTICE or reach out to us online to request a free consultation with our experienced attorney.