Last Updated on June 16, 2021 by Theodore Spaulding
In this video, attorney Ted Spaulding explains the laws around motorcycle helmets in Georgia and how your claim could be affected.
Georgia’s Motorcycle Helmet Law and How It Affects Your Claim. Hi. I’m Ted Spaulding. I’m an Atlanta personal injury trial lawyer and I’m the founder here at Spaulding Injury Law. So this video answers the question well what is Georgia’s helmet law and how does it affect your personal injury claim? So this one is very interesting, why? Because we have laws on the books in other areas that say you can’t use this kind of evidence against a personal injury victim but yet we don’t have that coverage for motorcycle riders. What do I mean? For instance, it’s the law that you have to wear a seat belt but if you’re not wearing a seat belt and you’re injured by someone else even if wearing the seat belt could be proven to have lessened your injuries, you cannot use that as evidence in court. So it never comes to the jury’s attention that you are not wearing your seat belt, there’s a statue right on point as to this.
Bicycle riders, okay? There’s a law there that you have to wear a helmet below the age of I think 14 or 16 or something like that. But the lack of using a helmet is not something that can be used against you. So in Georgia, we have a helmet law for motorcycle riders similar to your seat belt law in the sense that it says you must wear a helmet and it says you must follow the federal regulations which is it’s got to be DOT-compliant helmet. So what if you’re not wearing a helmet at all in violation of Georgia law or you’re wearing a helmet but it’s not a DOT-compliant helmet? Well, there’s strong case law that would say that could be used against you in a situation where your injuries are related to the lack of wearing a helmet or the proper helmet.
So if you’ve got a closed-head injury, a concussion, god forbid, a much larger brain injury and you were violating Georgia law, the defense may be able to use that against you to say well you wouldn’t have been as injured and of course then you’re gonna have a jury who’s not gonna be happy to hear that you weren’t wearing a helmet when you’re riding a motorcycle and oh it’s so dangerous, all the things that we have to deal with anyway in a trial of a motorcycle case, now is amplified. So it is something that you’ve got to be careful of.
And I know a lot of riders don’t like the DOT-compliant helmets, they don’t look cool, they don’t fit well, but technology has changed a lot, there’s a lot of really cool DOT helmets that are very comfortable. Please wear a helmet and wear a DOT helmet, it protects you, it protects your legal rights, doesn’t give the other side some arguments that they can be used against you. Now of course this doesn’t come up if your injuries aren’t related to the helmet, so if you broke an arm or something like that, probably can keep that out of evidence, right? Because the lack of a helmet doesn’t have anything to do with you breaking your arm or breaking a leg or a hip or something like that, right? So it depends on the unique nature of your case but be advised you really need to follow Georgia law, got to do everything you can to protect your own interests.
So anyways that’s the answer to your question about motorcycle helmets and Georgia law and how it affects your claim. I hope this answers any of your questions. If you have further questions or you have a claim or case you would like to see if our firm can handle, comment to this video below, go to our website spauldinginjurylaw.com, we have a contact form on there you can fill out. We’ll get back to you. Or give me a phone call, I’ve got two phone numbers for you 770-744-0890 or 470-695-9950. Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for watching this video.
For close to 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.