Riding a motorcycle in a beautiful area like Thomson, Georgia, can be an enjoyable way to get from Point A to Point B. However, it’s critical to remember that riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous. Statistics indicate that motorcyclists’ odds of dying in an accident are 29 times greater than passengers in motor vehicles.

Motorcyclists are not protected by a vehicle’s metal frame in an accident. In fact, they have almost no protection outside of their helmet and leathers. Even motorcycle riders who survive their accidents are often left with major injuries, such as brain injuries.

Therefore, when riding a motorcycle in Thomson, GA (or anywhere), it’s essential that you always wear your helmet. This habit can save your life and prevent you from being seriously harmed in a motorcycle accident.

However, while you may appreciate the importance of wearing a helmet, you might wonder whether you are required to. This guide will answer your questions.

Do Motorcyclists Have to Wear Helmets in Georgia?

Short answer: Yes. Under Georgia law, you must wear a motorcycle helmet when operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger. This is true throughout all areas of the state.

Your helmet must also meet certain standards. You should look for a Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker or label somewhere on your helmet. If you do not see any indication that the DOT has approved a helmet, do not wear it. Purchase an approved helmet and make that helmet your primary headgear while riding. 

A helmet is not the only piece of safety equipment you must wear when riding a motorcycle in Georgia. You must also wear DOT-approved protective eyewear. The penalties for not wearing a helmet can be quite serious. Disobeying the law can result in a maximum penalty of up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail. 

How Failure to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Can Impact a Personal Injury Case

The main reason to always wear your helmet when riding a motorcycle is to keep yourself safe. However, it’s worth noting that failing to wear your helmet could also have a significant impact on the outcome of a personal injury claim or lawsuit you file after an accident.

Georgia is an at-fault state. If you’re injured in an accident, you can file a claim or lawsuit to collect compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance. However, Georgia also has comparative fault rules that reduce a victim’s compensation to account for their share of fault.

An insurer could justify paying you less by arguing that your injuries would not have been as severe had you been wearing a helmet. For example, perhaps you are seeking $10,000 in compensation after a motorcycle accident. However, suppose you were not wearing your helmet when the accident occurred. 

Armed with this information, the insurance company may claim you are 20% at fault for the severity of your injuries. As a result, the maximum amount of compensation you would be able to recover would be $8,000.

Hopefully, you’ll never be involved in an accident. However, you have to be prepared for the possibility. Even if you’re cautious, you can’t control the behavior of others behind the wheel. You may be involved in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s carelessness. If that happens, wearing your helmet could be a matter of life or death.

Not wearing a helmet can also seriously jeopardize your chances of recovering proper compensation if you take legal action. Avoid these consequences by always wearing your helmet on a motorcycle.