Motorcycle enthusiasts know that riding on two wheels offers an exhilarating experience unparalleled by any other form of transportation. However, with the thrill comes certain inherent risks. Motorcycle accidents in Georgia can lead to severe injuries, emotional trauma, and financial strain. If you’ve experienced such an unfortunate event, you may be wondering what types of compensation are available to you. In this article, the motorcycle accident lawyer at SHElaw firm® will delve into the intricate details of compensations you might be entitled to in the state of Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered damages as a result of a motorcycle accident, and we are not able to answer your questions here, contact us immediately at 470-378-1162 to speak with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney near you.
Understanding Georgia’s Fault-Based System
In Georgia, the compensation system for motorcycle accidents operates on a fault based system, under the contributory negligence rule. This means that the party at fault (or their insurance company) is typically responsible for compensating the victim for damages. If a driver is found to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, they will not be entitled to any compensation and a victim who is 20% at fault will have 20% deducted from the full value of their settlement.
Medical Expenses: Your Immediate Concern
After a motorcycle accident, your primary concern will undoubtedly be your health. The state recognizes the burden of medical bills and, therefore, the at-fault party is generally responsible for:
- Emergency room visits: Immediate care post-accident.
- Hospitalization: Stays that may be required for severe injuries.
- Surgery and Procedures: Any operation or procedure that may arise due to injuries sustained.
- Rehabilitation and therapy: This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, or any specialized therapy required.
- Prescription medications: Essential for recovery and pain management.
Lost Wages: Bridging the Financial Gap
If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you might be entitled to compensation for the income you lose during your recovery period. This comprises:
- Immediate lost wages: Pay missed immediately after the accident.
- Future lost earnings: Compensation for reduced earning potential due to sustained injuries or permanent disability.
Pain and Suffering: The Emotional and Physical Toll
Motorcycle accidents can leave victims with both physical pain and emotional trauma. Georgia law permits victims to seek compensation for:
- Physical discomfort and pain: Ongoing pain resulting from the accident.
- Emotional distress: Mental anguish, anxiety, depression, or other psychological effects.
- Loss of enjoyment: Inability to engage in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed.
Property Damage: Restoring Your Ride
Your motorcycle might sustain significant damage or even be totaled in the accident. Compensation can cover:
- Repair costs: To restore your bike to its previous state.
- Replacement value: If your motorcycle is beyond repair.
Punitive Damages: An Exception Rather Than the Rule
In cases where the at-fault party’s behavior was particularly reckless or malicious, the court might award punitive damages. These are not meant to compensate the victim but rather to punish the wrongdoer and deter such behavior in the future.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident to Insure I Get the Best Result for My Compensation Claim?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and are aiming for the best result for your compensation claim, it’s crucial to follow a series of steps to safeguard your interests. Here’s a comprehensive guide:
Prioritize Safety First
- Move to Safety: If you are able to, move yourself and your motorcycle out of the road to prevent further accidents.
- Check for Injuries: Evaluate yourself for any immediate injuries. If anyone else is involved, check on their well-being too.
Call the Authorities
- Inform the Police: Always report the accident to the police. A police report can be vital for your claim. You can access your police report here.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you believe you are not seriously injured, it’s essential to get a medical check-up. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Take Photos: Capture clear photos of the accident scene, your motorcycle, any other vehicles involved, and any visible injuries you might have.
- Gather Witness Information: If there are any witnesses, collect their names, contact numbers, and statements if possible.
- Note Down Details: Document the specifics of the accident, including date, time, location, weather conditions, and any other relevant details.
Notify Your Insurance Company
- Report the Accident: Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Be factual in your account and avoid speculating about fault.
- Be Cautious: Be wary of making any recorded statements or accepting settlement offers without consulting an attorney.
Retain All Medical Records
- Document All Treatments: Keep a detailed record of all medical treatments, medications, and therapies you undergo.
- Track Expenses: Maintain all bills, receipts, and any other documentation related to your medical expenses.
Seek Legal Counsel
- Consult a Lawyer: Especially if you believe you have a significant claim, it’s wise to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney. They can guide you through the process, ensuring your rights are protected.
- Avoid Discussing the Accident: Avoid discussing the specifics of the accident with anyone other than your attorney, especially on social platforms.
Keep a Personal Journal
- Document Your Recovery: Make daily notes about your physical and emotional state, detailing any pain or discomfort you experience.
- Note Impacts on Daily Life: Document any disruptions to your daily life, whether it’s missed work, an inability to participate in hobbies, or any other disturbances.
Be Patient and Persistent
- Follow Medical Advice: Ensure you follow all medical recommendations and attend follow-up appointments.
- Stay Consistent: It’s essential to remain consistent in your statements and avoid discrepancies that can be used against you.
Contact Our Decatur Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today!
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in Georgia, understanding the compensations you are entitled to can bring relief in a time of distress. From medical expenses to lost wages, pain, suffering, and property damage, various avenues of compensation exist. By staying informed and seeking the professional advice of skilled injury attorney at SHElaw firm®, you can navigate this challenging period with the assurance that your rights are protected. Contact our office today by completing a contact form here, or by calling 470-378-1162. We are available 24 hours a day!