Motorcycling is a popular hobby and mode of transport in Georgia. However, riders are at a much higher risk of injury and death. In fact, bikers are 5 times more likely to be injured in a crash than a road user in a passenger car and 26 times as likely to be killed. Unlike cars and other vehicles, motorcycles lack physical protection and are much harder to spot.
While there are rules and laws in place to protect motorcycle riders on the road, motorcycle accidents caused by negligent and careless drivers are still on the rise. A motorcycle accident can completely upend your life, leaving you with expensive medical bills, and unable to go to work and lead a normal life.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to seek the assistance of an experienced Druid Hills motorcycle accident lawyer to help you seek justice and full compensation for damages suffered.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
As a victim of a motorcycle accident in Georgia, you are entitled to certain rights under Georgia’s personal injury law. You have the right to pursue financial compensation for any damages suffered as a result of the accident. However, navigating the legal system and ensuring that you are fairly compensated is not easy, especially if you have not familiar with the law.
Here is a list of ways our Druid Hills motorcycle accident lawyers can help you successfully handle your accident case:
- Evaluating your case and determining whether you have a valid case
- Identifying all the at-fault parties.
- Investigating your case and collecting all the relevant information and evidence to build a strong case for you
- Working with experts to strengthen your case
- Filing all the necessary paperwork on your behalf
- Communicating and negotiating with the insurance company to reach a favorable settlement agreement
- Preparing your case for trial if a settlement can’t be reached and actually representing you in court
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
In an ideal world where everyone strictly adhered to the applying traffic rules and did as expected, motorcycle riders wouldn’t have to worry about getting injured or killed in an accident. However, since things are much different in real life, motorcycle accidents are a daily occurrence.
Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
Distracted driving is a leading cause of all kinds of accidents on our roads today, including motorcycle accidents. This is when a driver takes their attention off their driving and ends up hitting a motorcycle.
Failure to Pay Attention to Motorcycles
When driving, many motorists are usually on the lookout for other cars and vehicles and forget about motorcyclists, who share the same rights as other road users. A motorcycle can be easy to miss if you aren’t paying enough attention. Some drivers also outrightly ignore the rights of motorcyclists and end up hitting them.
Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving
To ensure safe driving, it is crucial that you only do so with a clear and sober mind. However, some still choose to drive while drunk or under the influence of drugs and up causing an accident.
Faulty Mirrors, Brakes, or Lighting
Motorcycle and vehicle owners have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and in proper condition. The mirrors, lighting, and braking systems are some of the most crucial safety systems in a vehicle. If either of these is not functioning properly, they may lead to an accident.
Unexpected Pedestrians on the Road
Children, careless pedestrians, and animals may unexpectedly rush onto the road right on the path of a moving motorcyclist causing a collision and harming both the pedestrian and the motorcycle rider.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents are quite common in the state of Georgia. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), in 2019, motorcycle accidents accounted for 11% of all traffic-related fatalities.
Considering that motorcycles account for only 2% of registered vehicles in the state, motorcyclists are disproportionately represented. According to the data, motorcyclist fatalities saw a 22% increase from 2017-2019 in the state.
What Are the Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, motorcyclists have certain rights and responsibilities as stipulated by the law. Here are the motorcycle-specific laws in Georgia:
- All motorcycle riders are required to wear Georgia Department of Transportation-certified helmets.
- All motorcyclists are entitled to the full use of a lane.
- Motorcycle riders are prohibited from sharing a lane or traveling in between cars or trucks on the road.
- Motorcycles are allowed to share a lane or travel side by side with another motorcycle but only a maximum of 2 motorcycles per lane.
- All motorcycles should have at least one side mirror.
- A motorcyclist can only carry a passenger on a motorcycle specifically designed to carry more than one passenger.
- A motorcyclist should not carry any object that prevents them from placing both hands on the handlebar.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents?
Some of the most common injuries motorcycle accident victims suffer include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Road Rash
- Broken Bones
- Head and Brain Injuries
How Is Fault Determined in a Druid Hills Motorcycle Accident?
Negligence is a key aspect of all personal injury cases in Georgia including motorcycle accident cases. To file a successful motorcycle accident insurance claim or claim, you need to prove negligence on the side of the at-fault party. To do so, you need to prove the following elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: You need to prove that the accused party owed you a duty of care in that particular situation. In this case, all motorists owe other road users a duty to operate their vehicles safely and obey all traffic rules.
- Breach of Duty of Care: Next, you need to prove that the defendant violated their duty of care. For instance, driving while intoxicated or distracted.
- Causation: You also need to prove that the accident was caused as a direct result of the other party’s breach of duty of care.
- Damages: You also need to prove that you suffered actual and legally compensable damages due to the accident.
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. What this means for your case is that you can recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident as long as your percentage of fault doesn’t exceed 49%. Your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
Here are the types of damages you can expect in a successful Georgia motorcycle accident case:
These are provided to compensate you for objectively quantifiable losses that can be assigned a monetary value. These include past and future medical bills, property repair, lost income, loss of earning capacity, costs of obtaining domestic services, and others.
These are meant to compensate you for subjective and non-verifiable losses that can’t be assigned a monetary value. These include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of limb function, and others.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for grossly negligent, reckless, or malicious behavior that caused harm to others. It is also meant to discourage the public from repeating such behavior. Georgia puts a cap on punitive damages at $250,000.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
Insurance companies are notorious for denying and devaluing accident claims, which is why it is crucial that you get in touch with an experienced Druid Hills motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that everything is done right and that you are not taken advantage of.
However, here are some legitimate reasons why your claim might be denied:
- The policy was canceled or lapsed
- The insurance company believes that you weren’t hurt as you claimed
- The insurance company thinks that your injuries weren’t caused by the accident
- The driver was not insured under the policy
- They believe that the accident was your fault
Luckily having your insurance claim denied doesn’t mean the end of the road for you. You can appeal the denial or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or the insurance company.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Claim in Georgia?
The state of Georgia requires that you file your motorcycle accident claim within two years of the accident, otherwise, you will permanently lose your right to seek compensation. Thus, it is crucial that you act quickly.
Reach Out to an Experienced Druid Hills Motorcycle Accident Lawyer!
Motorcycle riding is a fun and exciting activity as well as a convenient way of getting from one place to another. However, it comes with the risk of getting seriously injured or killed in the event of an accident. With the machine being on two wheels and lacking physical protection like that provided by passenger cars, it is easy to see why accidents involving motorcycles are often more devastating for the riders.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you need to seek the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Druid Hills to help you get the compensation you need to cover the resulting expenses. Call us today at 470-378-1162 to schedule your free consultation.