When you’re a teenager and you’re learning how to drive, your parents probably drilled the driving laws into your brain. The same is true if you went to a driving school. However, if you drive a motorcycle, you may not be aware of all the specific laws regarding motorcycle riders. Georgia has its own set of laws dealing with motorcycles. Our Marietta motorcycle accident attorneys are familiar with these laws. They also know what can happen if you violate one of these laws and get into an accident.
Here, we’ll talk about the specific motorcycle laws in Georgia. For example, as in most other states, you’re required to wear a helmet at all times while riding a motorcycle. This applies to both drivers and passengers. Another example is that you must maintain certain levels of insurance coverage. If you don’t follow these laws, you could be facing heavy fines and a suspension of your license. More importantly, if the other driver in your motorcycle accident didn’t follow these laws, it will go a long way toward proving fault.
If you have any questions about your own motorcycle accident case, give us a call. We can schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone. Or, if you prefer, you can reach out to us through our website.
All Motorcycle Riders Must Have a Valid Class M License and Registration
Anybody who intends on driving a motorcycle must obtain a legal, Class M license. Like a regular driver’s license, you must pass a written test to obtain a Class M license. You also have to get it updated and renewed periodically. If someone fails to carry this license and is caught driving a motorcycle, they can get into serious trouble. This is especially true if the person who causes your motorcycle accident doesn’t have their Class M license.
You Must Be at Least 16 Years Old to Drive a Motorcycle
In order to drive a motorcycle in Georgia, you have to be at least 16 years old. If someone riding a motorcycle crashes into your car and they’re under the age of 16, there are going to be problems. If the other driver is younger than 16, they can’t possibly have a valid license. This means there’s a good chance they don’t have the required insurance under Georgia law. Of course, there’s also the chance that the driver borrowed the motorcycle from a friend or family member. If this is the case, your Marietta motorcycle accident attorneys will file a claim against the owner’s insurance policy. The good news for you is that insurance follows the motorcycle – not the motorcycle driver.
Motorcycles Are Required to Have the Same Lights and Signals as Other Vehicles
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that all motorcycles are required to have a headlight and taillight. In addition, a motorcycle must be equipped with turn signals. If you get into an accident and the police find that the defendant’s brake lights or turn signals weren’t operating properly, they’ll put this into their police report. Your Marietta motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to point to this in your lawsuit.
Imagine that you are riding behind a motorcycle down a county road. It’s dark out so you have to rely on the motorcycle’s rear lights to know where it’s going. As you approach a red light that is about to turn green, you notice that the motorcycle’s brake lights don’t come on. You have no reason to think the driver is going to brake. After all, the light’s about to change and their brake lights aren’t on. You end up hitting them from behind. You may be able to sue the motorcycle rider for damages. Your Marietta motorcycle accident attorneys can argue that the other driver was negligent by not maintaining their brake lights, so they are working properly.
Both Driver and Passengers Must Wear Safety Helmet
There’s always the chance that the other driver claims that you were at fault for the crash. Or they may say that your injuries wouldn’t have been so serious had you not been negligence. If you’re riding a motorcycle at the time of the crash, you’re legally required to wear a safety helmet. So is your passenger.
As long as your Marietta motorcycle accident attorneys can show that you were both wearing your helmet as required, you should still be entitled to damages. In other words, when the defendant claims that you wouldn’t have gotten hurt if you had worn your helmet, you can submit evidence to the contrary.
You Cannot Pass in the Same Lane or Engage in Lane Splitting
One of the most important motorcycle laws in Georgia is that riders cannot split lanes. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider weaves in and out of traffic rather than sticking to their own, single lane. If the defendant in your case was splitting lanes at the time of your accident, it will go a long way toward proving fault.
In order to recover damages in your case, your Marietta motorcycle accident lawyer has to prove negligence. This means that they have to establish that the defendant not only owed you a duty of care, but also breached that duty. By showing that the defendant was lane splitting, you’ll have shown that they breached their duty of care. At a minimum, motorcycle drivers must obey all local traffic laws. Since Georgia law prohibits lane splitting, the defendant will be held negligent and, hopefully, liable for your injuries.
Motorcycle Riders Must Maintain Certain Insurance Coverage
In addition to obeying all the traffic laws and specific motorcycle laws in Georgia, the defendant must also carry insurance. Under Georgia law, you must carry the following levels of insurance coverage:
- Bodily injury or death – $25,000 per person
- Bodily injury or death for more than one person – $50,000
- Property damage – $25,000
If You’re Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident, Call Marietta Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or your loved one were injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, you should call our office. You can meet with one of our Marietta motorcycle accident attorneys. Let them review your case and decide if you have a claim for damages. As long as your Marietta motorcycle accident lawyer can prove negligence, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages.
We recommend that you call our office as soon as possible after your crash. Schedule your free, initial consultation with seasoned Marietta motorcycle accident attorneys.