Georgia has helmet laws in place for motorcyclists. A clear understanding of these laws is a must for anyone who rides a motorcycle in the Peach State. Failure to comply with Georgia’s helmet laws can result in fines and other penalties.
At Barrios Virgüez Attorneys, we know all about Georgia helmet laws. Those in need of a personal injury lawyer in Georgia can reach out to us for more information. We also provide answers to common questions about helmet laws in Georgia.
Do I Need to Wear a Helmet if I Ride a Motorcycle in Georgia?
Georgia is one of 19 states in which it is mandatory for motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. The state requires all motorcycle riders and passengers — regardless of age — to wear a helmet at all times. In addition, all Georgia motorcyclists must wear eye protection if their vehicle does not have a windshield.
The National Safety Council points out that helmet use directly influences motorcycle fatality trends in the United States. By wearing a helmet, a motorcyclist can reduce their risk of head trauma during an accident. A rider can also boost their chances of getting the maximum settlement amount in a motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuit.
A Georgia motorcycle rider who is not wearing a helmet is violating the law. If this rider is involved in an accident due to no fault of their own, the rider may want to seek damages. However, it can be tough for the rider to put together a strong case, due in part to the fact that this individual ignored the state’s helmet requirement.
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What Will Happen if I Ride a Motorcycle without a Helmet in Georgia?
Those who violate Georgia’s helmet law can receive a fine of $1,000, up to one year in jail, and/or be required to complete community service. A rider can be penalized in accordance with Georgia’s helmet law if this individual is traveling on a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Or, a rider can be penalized if the helmet in use does not comply with state requirements.
Motorcycle riders in Georgia must wear a helmet that has been approved for use by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). A USDOT-approved helmet receives extensive testing in alignment with stringent safety standards. Thus, the helmet minimizes a rider’s risk of suffering head trauma during a motorcycle accident.
Along with various penalties associated with violating Georgia’s helmet law, a rider who does not wear a helmet may be held financially responsible for any head injuries suffered in an accident. In this scenario, the rider may have trouble presenting a compelling argument to request damages from an at-fault party. Therefore, the rider could be forced to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills to cover the costs of accident-related head injuries out of their own pocket.
Are There Any Exceptions to Georgia’s Helmet Law?
There are two exceptions to Georgia’s helmet law. In Georgia, a person does not require a helmet when riding in an enclosed cab or motorized cart. Also, the state does not require a rider to wear a helmet when operating a three-wheeled motorcycle for agricultural purposes.
In terms of the eye protection portion of Georgia’s helmet law, there are no exceptions. Those who choose not to wear eye protection when riding a motorcycle that lacks a windshield can receive a fine, jail time, or community service. This eye protection must comply with Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission standards.
When it comes to Georgia’s helmet law, it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution. Wearing a helmet and eye protection ensures a rider is legally operating their motorcycle. On top of that, a rider can wear a helmet and eye protection to minimize their risk of a head injury.
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What Types of Injuries Could I Suffer if I do Not Comply with Georgia’s Helmet Law?
In a motorcycle accident, a rider is prone to a wide range of head injuries, such as:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
A motorcyclist can suffer a TBI due to a sudden jolt to the head. If this happens, the rider can experience a headache, nausea, and other physical symptoms. If a rider suffers a moderate or severe TBI, this individual can experience physical and cognitive symptoms that linger for months or years after an accident.
A motorcycle rider can hit their head on pavement or another hard surface. This can result in a coma in which the rider loses consciousness for an extended period of time. A coma is a medical emergency, and failure to treat it right away can cause long-term complications.
If a motorcycle rider suffers a concussion, this individual can experience chemical changes in their brain. The concussion can impact the rider’s brain functioning long into the future. There is no guarantee that the rider will fully recover from their concussion, too.
Complying with Georgia’s helmet law is a must. Motorcyclists who know the law can wear a helmet and eye protection and ride their vehicles safely. They may also be able to avoid expensive medical bills.
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How Much does It Cost to Treat a Head Injury that Occurs in a Motorcycle Accident?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that motorcycle helmets can stop fatalities and reduce injury. Medical treatment costs for motorcycle accident injuries can be “significant,” according to the CDC. If every motorcyclist wore a helmet, the United States could save approximately $1.5 billion in economic costs annually, CDC points out.
Ultimately, the cost of a helmet and eye protection is far less than the expenses that a rider could face after a motorcycle accident. A Georgia motorcycle rider can pick up a helmet and eye protection and limit their risk of injury. With these investments, the rider can comply with Georgia’s helmet law as well.
Those who want to learn more about Georgia’s helmet law can meet with a lawyer from Barrios Virgüez Attorneys. We are a Georgia law firm that can also help you file a personal injury lawsuit following a motorcycle accident. To learn more or request a free consultation, please contact us today.