Were you seriously hurt in a motorcycle wreck? Did you lose a loved one?
Our Buford motorcycle crash injury attorneys can help get more money into your pocket.
“Live to ride, ride to live” is a popular motto among some motorcyclists. But what happens when your love of riding is brought to a sudden and screeching halt because of a serious crash? Or what if you recently lost a spouse or family member while they were doing what they loved due to another person’s negligence?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that all motorcycle riders follow basic safe driving practices such as increasing visibility by turning headlights on, avoiding drinking and driving, being aware of road and weather conditions, staying alert to where other drivers are at all times, always abiding by traffic laws and being very cautious while driving through intersections or when merging into traffic. However, even when these guidelines are followed perfectly, sometimes accidents still happen.
Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,500 motorcyclists die each year in fatal crashes in the U.S. Despite the fact that motorcyclists drive less than 1 percent of the total miles driven, they make up 15 percent of traffic deaths. According to the NHTSA, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash. In Georgia, 154 motorcycle riders lost their lives in 2018. That’s 154 lives tragically cut short—many in preventable accidents.
What’s more, as Atlanta grows, the roads, highways and interstates that crisscross through Gwinnett and Hall counties have become increasingly clogged and congested in recent years, resulting in higher rates of serious and fatal vehicle accidents.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Buford, Georgia, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. At Scholle Law, we can help you deal with complex motorcycle accident litigation including traffic and registration law compliance, medical expenses resulting from personal injuries like brain injury, liability determinations and overcoming bias against motorcyclists. With the help of trusted attorney Charles Scholle and our skilled legal team, we can make sure that you get the settlement you need and deserve.
Scholle Law is an experienced personal injury and accident law firm that specializes in cases involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents and more. We’ve served the Buford community for over 20 years. Through hard work and dedication, we’ve gained the trust of local residents in Gwinnett and Hall counties, earning a reputation in the community for high-quality legal representation at a fair and honest cost.
Your first consultation is FREE, and we charge you nothing unless we’re able to secure financial recovery for you and your family. No recovery, no fee — it’s that simple.
If your injuries prevent you from visiting any of our office locations, then we can schedule a time for a legal representative to travel to your home or other location to meet with you or your family.
What to do after a motorcycle wreck in Buford, GA
It takes a special combination of physical and mental ability to skillfully operate a motorcycle, but even the most careful and experienced rider can become the victim of a motorcycle accident caused by another driver.
Let’s say you were just involved in a motorcycle accident…what now?
Adrenaline will probably be coursing through your veins, but try to take a deep breath, remain as calm as possible and follow these steps:
1. Move to safety
If you’re miraculously uninjured and able to move, get out of harm’s way and try to move your bike off the road, away from traffic. Help others move to safety too, but don’t move them if they appear injured.
2. Call 911
In any collision involving property damage and/or injuries, you should contact the local police. Tell the dispatcher if you, your passenger or anyone else seems injured. Even if you don’t seem to be hurt and your bike is okay, it’s in your best interest to file an accident report.
3. Gather information and evidence
Swap information with the other people involved in the accident, and take pictures of the accident scene — including photos of your motorcycle, the other vehicle, the road, your surroundings and even the weather. All of this evidence may be important later when seeking damages. If possible, also be sure to grab the name and contact information of the police officer who responds to the call.
4. Record your version of events
Once you’ve filed a report with the police officer, make sure you are prepared to recount the incident to an attorney.
Write down a detailed account of the accident while it’s fresh in your mind.
5. Notify your insurance company
Call your auto insurance company and let them know that you were in a crash. Do this as soon as possible following the wreck.
The success of your claim might depend on how soon you notify your insurer.
6. Seek medical attention
Even if you feel lucky and don’t appear to be seriously injured, visit your doctor as soon as possible to get a checkup. Some serious injuries, such as a concussion or internal bleeding, aren’t obvious at first but can lead to debilitating and catastrophic damage if not treated promptly. Tell the doctor about any discomfort you are experiencing, including headaches, small aches, pains and bruises.
7. Consult an attorney
Finally, if you were seriously injured or your claim is being contested, contact an experienced motorcycle injury attorney in your area to learn about your legal rights.
What if I wake up in the hospital, or am too injured to follow these steps?
Needless to say, if you lose consciousness or are in such pain that you’re unable to do anything but wait for the ambulance to arrive, you might not have the chance to follow some of the steps listed above. That’s okay. Your first priority is to focus on your health and safety.
Once you’ve received emergency treatment for your initial injuries, we strongly encourage you to consult with a knowledgeable local motorcycle accident lawyer at Scholle Law to find out what steps to take next and how we can protect your right to compensation going forward. The sooner you reach out, the faster we can launch a thorough investigation and seek out important evidence before it’s lost or forgotten.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents
Despite the stereotype out there that all motorcyclists are reckless and dangerous drivers, the fact is that most motorcycle accidents occur because another driver is negligent or reckless in some way. And tragically, these mishaps frequently result in death or serious injury of the motorcyclist.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Car doors
- Intoxicated driving (drugs or alcohol)
- Left-turn accidents
- Motorcycle defects
- Poor road conditions (potholes, cracks, debris, etc.)
- Bad weather conditions
- Sudden stops (rear-end collisions)
- Lane splitting
Common motorcycle crash injuries
By nature of their design, motorcycles are less crashworthy than other vehicles. The sense of openness, maneuverability and exposure that riders enjoy about their bike are the very traits that make them more dangerous in a wreck. Motorcyclists and their passengers are more vulnerable to the dangers of bad weather and poor road conditions compared to drivers in closed vehicles.
While every crash is different and can result in many different types of catastrophic injuries, a few of the most common injuries we see are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Concussions and head injuries
- Severe road rash
- Broken and fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Lower extremity injuries (legs, feet, etc.)
- Internal injuries (organ damage)
- Whiplash and neck injuries
Georgia motorcycle laws and requirements
Motorcyclists in Buford, Hall County, Gwinnett County and throughout the state of Georgia must follow certain rules, restrictions and requirements in order to safely and legally operate a motorcycle on public roads. Many of these rules not only are required by law, but they can also help prevent some of the injuries listed above in the event of a wreck.
Georgia is one of only a handful of states that require all motorcycle riders, regardless of age or experience, to wear a helmet. According to Section 40-6-315 of state law:
(a) No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.
In 2017, the NHTSA estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists. Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers. If that’s not motivation enough to consider wearing a helmet (or the fact that it’s required by state law), then consider that motorcycle crash claims are often denied by insurance companies if they discover that the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
In addition, juries and judges tend to look more favorably on injured motorcyclists if they were wearing all the appropriate safety equipment at the time of an accident.
“Lane splitting” is when a motorcyclist goes between 2 lanes of traffic going the same direction. Whether or not it is legal depends on which state you’re in. Proponents of lane splitting say it helps reduce traffic congestion by allowing motorcyclists to share lanes with vehicles and is safer for bikers by avoiding deadly rear-end collisions, whereas opponents argue that lane splitting increases the risk of lane change accidents and scares other drivers.
Regardless of which side you’re on, you should know that Georgia law expressly prohibits lane splitting. If you or your loved one gets into a motorcyclist accident while lane-splitting, you will likely be held liable for not just your own injuries but any injuries suffered by anyone else in the collision.
License and insurance
You must obtain a Class M license or Instructional Permit (MP) to legally operate a motor-driven cycle in Georgia. “Motor-driven cycles” are defined as high-speed motorcycles, cruisers and standard motorcycles, as well as scooters, mopeds, motorbikes and mini-bikes with an engine size of 51cc or greater.
To earn your motorcycle license, you can either:
- Take an authorized Motorcycle Safety Program Course to receive professional training in motorcycle handling and earn a 90-day License Test Waiver to prove that you successfully complete the course; or
- Apply directly at a DDS Customer Service Center. You must pass a knowledge test, a vision test, and an on-cycle skills test (on your own motorcycle).
In addition to getting your motorcycle license, you are required to have sufficient insurance before hitting the road on your bike. Georgia’s insurance requirements for motorcycles are the same as they are for all motor vehicles—$25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident and $25,000 property damage per accident.
Overcoming negative stigmas against motorcyclists
An important factor to keep in mind if you were injured as a motorcyclist in a crash and are seeking compensation is that insurance companies, lawyers, courts and juries often have inherent biases and stereotypes of how motorcyclists behave, which may have a substantial impact on your claim.
For instance, insurers commonly lowball motorcycle accident victims to try to get them to settle for much less than their case is worth. And if your case ultimately goes before a judge or jury, you’re more likely to not receive the full compensation you deserve if the defendant or their attorney try to use the negative stigma of motorcyclists being reckless drivers and risk-takers against you.
Our Buford motorcycle injury lawyers have come up against these tactics before and we know how to defeat them. Whether it’s negotiating with insurers to get you a fair settlement or proving the other driver’s liability before a courtroom, the team at Scholle Law is ready to fight for your rights.
Georgia motorcycle accident liability and compensation
Georgia follows a modified comparative (contributory) negligence system, which means that a person’s final compensation for an accident will be reduced by their degree (or percentage) of fault. For example, if a motorcyclist is determined to be 25 percent responsible for the crash, then they will only be able to recover 75 percent of their damages.
However, plaintiffs are only eligible for compensation if they are less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. If you were found to be 50 percent liable for a motorcycle wreck, you would be banned from recovering any damages under Georgia’s negligence laws.
Liability for motorcycle accidents is usually determined by following the rule that the less careful—or negligent—person involved in the accident is the one who must pay for the damages suffered by the other, more cautious person in the accident. To determine liability with clarity, the attorney you hire will look at the accident report to figure out exactly what happened. In cases where the details of the accident are unclear, your attorney may even hire an accident reconstructionist to clarify any doubts.
Whether or not fault has already been determined in your wreck, you can rest assured that motorcycle accident attorney Charles Scholle will use his experience and expertise to protect your interests and take control of the situation. He will answer any questions you have and explain your best options.
We’ve recovered over $75 million for our clients
Local resources for Buford, GA residents
Local legal resources
Buford Police Department
(Gwinnett County Police North Precinct)
2735 Mall of Georgia Blvd
Buford, GA 30519
(678) 442-5002 (non-emergency)
Buford City Schools
2500 Sawnee Ave
Buford, GA 30518
Gwinnett County Public Library
(Buford-Sugar Hill Branch)
2100 Buford Hwy NE
Buford, GA 30518
Gwinnett Chamber Of Commerce
6500 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Duluth, GA 30097
Gwinnett Medical Center
1000 Medical Center Blvd
Northside Hospital Gwinnett
1000 Medical Center Blvd
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
“…Every week, I experience a client who’s dealing with the worst time that they’ve ever had to experience. They’re injured. They can’t pay their medical expenses. They don’t know when they’re going to be able to work again.”
“…I always like the underdog. I always like representing the little guy. I don’t want to represent the corporation or the insurance company.”
“…We like to have a personal relation with our clients…because that helps us be better lawyers…and serve their interests.”
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online