Georgia’s traffic laws are designed to ensure that all motorists share the road and reach their destinations safely. However, some drivers fail to pay attention to motorcycle riders or overlook them entirely, leading to an increase in motorcycle accidents in the state.
As a motorcycle rider, it is crucial to understand your rights and know what steps to take if you are involved in an accident.
In the event of a motorcycle accident, you may sustain severe injuries that require legal assistance to pursue rightful compensation for damages. At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., our personal injury attorneys are available to guide you through your legal options.
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, our Thomasville-based lawyers are equipped to represent you and seek fair compensation on your behalf.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Review Your Case
To begin the process, your motorcycle accident lawyer will provide you with all the necessary information and facts related to the motorcycle accident claim. This will help you understand your chances of success and manage any unrealistic expectations you may have had.
There are various factors that come into play when determining the amount of compensation you are eligible for, and your motorcycle attorney can explain these to you in detail. With their expertise in such cases, your lawyer can answer any questions you may have and provide clarification on any issues related to your claim.
Your Joe Durham motorcycle accident attorney will move to gather all the evidence needed to support your claim. They work with other experts such as independent investigators, doctors, police, and insurance companies to establish the facts. They are careful in approaching the matter and will do it so that they do not jeopardize your chances of getting the compensation.
Negotiate a Settlement
Next, your Joe Durham motorcycle accident attorney will attempt to negotiate with the at-fault party for a favorable out-of-court settlement. This is often the first step taken as a lawsuit can be lengthy and cumbersome for both parties.
Your attorney will present the facts and evidence, and work to convince the other party to agree to a specific out-of-court settlement amount. Throughout this process, your motorcycle attorney will keep you informed and ensure that you are aware of all negotiations and the potential settlement amount.
Represent You in Court
In court, your attorney will argue your case and present all the evidence to prove your damages and the fault of the other party. They will also cross-examine witnesses and experts and present your side of the story.
Based on the evidence presented, the jury or judge will make a decision on the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Your motorcycle attorney will ensure that you understand the legal process and are prepared for each step of the way.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons, including factors that are within the rider’s control and those that are not. Some avoidable causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Failure to obey traffic laws and signals
- Riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, such as texting while riding
- Improper lane changes or passing
- Inexperienced riders
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Georgia
Motorcycle accidents can be particularly dangerous as riders have less protection compared to other motorists. In the United States, there are over 80,000 reported injuries annually as a result of motorcycle accidents, with more than 5,000 riders losing their lives.
Despite motorcycles comprising only about 3% of registered vehicles, fatalities from motorcycle accidents make up 14% of all traffic fatalities.
Motorcycle accidents tend to occur more frequently in urban areas or on high-capacity roads during weekends or when traffic is light. This is partly due to the fact that many riders prefer to hit the road when they have time off work and the weather is favorable.
In Georgia, head-on collisions are a leading cause of motorcycle accidents, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. Left-turn accidents account for over 40% of these incidents, with sideswipe and lane splitting accidents being close behind in frequency.
What Are the Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Georgia?
Motorcyclists in Georgia should be aware of certain laws that apply to them. For instance, lane splitting, which involves riding between two lanes of traffic, is prohibited in Georgia, and violating this law can lead to legal trouble in case of an accident.
Additionally, lane filtering, which is similar to lane splitting, is also prohibited, and only two motorcycles can travel side-by-side in a single lane.
Moreover, Georgia law requires motorcyclists to prioritize safety by wearing appropriate gear, including helmets that meet the safety standards enforced by the Georgia Board of Public Safety.
It is also essential for motorcyclists to operate their bikes safely and ensure that all necessary lights are in good working condition.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents?
Due to the lack of protection provided by motorcycles, riders are at a higher risk of sustaining fatal injuries in an accident. Some of the common injuries suffered by riders include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lower extremity injuries
- Internal injuries
- Road rash
How is Fault Determined in a Georgia Motorcycle Accident?
Determining liability in a motorcycle accident in Georgia can be complex and involves multiple factors that determine the amount of compensation awarded. Georgia is a comparative negligence state, which means that liability is divided based on the level of responsibility each party had in the accident.
Even if the rider is partially responsible for the accident, they may still be eligible for compensation as long as they are not responsible for more than 50% of the fault. The court assigns a percentage of fault to each party, and the compensation amount is reduced by the percentage for which the rider was at fault.
For example, if the rider was 10% responsible, the compensation amount will be reduced by 10%.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
Economic damages are awarded to compensate for losses that have a clear monetary value and can be objectively proven with receipts and professional assessments. These damages cover expenses such as medical bills, motorcycle repair costs, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, and costs of care, among others.
Non-economic damages are compensations for subjective losses that do not have a definite monetary value. These damages cover losses that are difficult to quantify in monetary terms, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
These types of damages are often the subject of contention and require the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
Punitive damages serve to punish the at-fault party for their egregious behavior and provide a deterrent effect for future similar actions. These damages are awarded in cases where the offender’s negligence was particularly severe and warrants a stronger penalty.
Why Would My Motorcycle Accident Claim Be Denied?
There are several reasons why your motorcycle accident claim may be denied, including the cancellation or lapse of the faulty party’s insurance policy, lack of coverage for the driver, being found responsible for over 50% of the fault through comparative liability analysis, failure to provide adequate proof of injuries resulting from the accident, and suspicion that the injuries were caused by a different event rather than the accident.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Claim in Georgia?
In Georgia, the law sets a deadline for filing a personal injury claim, which is two years from the date of the accident. However, if the claim is against a city or county, the claimant has to file the claim within six months.
Family members who want to file a wrongful death claim due to a motorcycle accident have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file the claim. It’s important to note that failing to file within the set time limits may bar the claimant from recovering any compensation.
Get Help From A Skilled Thomasville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential to seek the help of a knowledgeable Thomasville motorcycle accident lawyer to guide you through the necessary steps to receive compensation while you focus on your recovery. The expertise and skills of an experienced motorcycle attorney can make all the difference in determining the outcome of your case.