Motorcycle riders say they are independent, free-spirited, self-sufficient, and self-reliant. They pride themselves on taking care of their business. As a whole, they are productive, valuable members of personal relationships, businesses, and communities. It can be devastating when one of these people is seriously injured in a crash. At The SHElaw firm®, our motorcycle accident attorneys in Decatur can help you recover your losses. We specialize in auto accidents of all kinds and helping make injured riders and their families whole again.
You Should Not Be A Target Just Because You Ride a Motorcycle.
Motorcycle riders have the same protection under Georgia law as vehicle drivers in Decatur. A single motorcycle is legally entitled to the entire lane, or two motorcycles may occupy one lane riding side by side. Motorcyclists cannot “lane split” or pass in the center of the road during traffic backups. Motorcyclists are also not allowed to create a lane exclusively for themselves on the outside of the lanes.
Make Sure the Other Drivers See You.
In many post-accident interviews, vehicle drivers state they never saw the motorcycle. Keep your lights in good working condition, and keep them on when driving. Use your blinkers for lane changes and turns. Do not make sudden moves. If you want to change lanes, or execute a turn, give time to the motorists in the surrounding lanes to adjust. Do not follow too closely. You will get lost in the rearview mirrors, and the motorist can not see you. Allow at least one vehicle length between your motorcycle and the vehicle in front of you. This distance will allow you time to make a safe stop if the driver in front of you stops suddenly.
What Are the Injuries You May Have?
In a collision with a motor vehicle, the vehicle driver will almost always fare better than the motorcycle rider. The car or truck encases the driver in a shelter of steel, metal, and safety features. The motorcycle rider has none of those protections. For a rider in a spill caused by a bad turn, a skid, or even a minor accident, burns are common. There are many hot surfaces on the motorcycle to get burned on; there is also road burn or road rash. Road rash is a burn caused by the speed of your body part as it slides across a stable surface. Asphalt, concrete, and even loose gravel are unforgiving when you slide across them. Burns are the number one reason most experienced bikers wear jeans, leathers, boots, or closed-toe shoes. Passengers should also follow these clothing guidelines to keep their scrapes and burns to a minimum. For riders wearing helmets, and we will get into that detail later, the most common injury is broken fingers and foot bones. Next likely are the ankles, hands, then legs, and arms. Most of these injuries occur when the rider tries to stop or tries to break their fall when stopping suddenly. These may sound like minor injuries, but a broken leg requiring surgery and physical therapy can easily keep you out of work for four to six months. Few of us can afford a financial deficit like that. Internal injuries are also common. The rider hits the handlebars or the ground with such force that ribs break, lungs are punctured, or other vital organs are damaged. Injuries of this type are more difficult to heal than broken bones and may have residual effects for your entire lifetime.
Georgia Helmet Law 40-6-315
Code 40-6-315 of the Georgia Codes and Statutes states that all motorcycle riders must have an approved helmet and have a windshield or protective eye gear when driving the roads and highways in Decatur. Like all laws, we see this one violated. Riders like to feel the wind in their hair, hear the roar of the motor, and be unencumbered. But studies have revealed compelling reasons why you should wear your helmet. One-third of all motorcycle fatalities would not have ended in death with a helmet protecting the rider’s head. Of those that survived with impactful brain injury, 41% would have had significantly less brain damage or no brain damage at all if they had been wearing a helmet at impact. The lack of a helmet will not hurt your case, but it could affect how the judge rules on comparative negligence.
How Are Losses Determined?
Georgia uses a comparative negligence standard to determine fault and distribution of benefits in accident cases. This standard mandates the court must rule on each driver’s percentage of negligence. If the court rules you are 10% negligent, you will be responsible for 10% of the approved claim amount. The other driver will be held negligent for the remaining 90%. In cases where the other driver was malicious and 100% at fault, you will receive all of your economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
- Actual financial costs you have incurred as a result of the accident. These may include:
- Vehicle repair/replacement
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- These damages are known as Pain and Suffering. May include:
- Permanent scarring/Disfigurement
- Loss of a bodily Function
- Terminal condition secondary to the accident
These are damages for negligent or malicious intent. We must prove this accident was with malicious intent or occurred due to the sheer negligent behavior of the other driver. If he has a history of this behavior against you or others, we will present that here.
Contact SHElaw firm® if You Were Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Decatur!
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident in Decatur, contact The SHElaw firm® or call 470-378-1162 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. We specialize in developing a personalized defense around your motorcycle accident case. If possible, take photos of the accident surroundings and get the witnesses’ names and numbers. This proactive approach will help when you retain us, and the evidence is already gone, even if it is the same day. The more evidence you can bring us, the better. We can eliminate items that are not helpful. We can not recreate things we wish we had. Our personal injury attorneys will work with you and the victim to develop the case you want to present.