How to get the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle crash
When the weather is pleasant and sunny, many Georgians take to the roads on their motorcycles to enjoy the fresh air and landscape. When riding a motorcycle, it’s important to remain safe while having fun.
Nevertheless, accidents do happen.
The following overview will help you understand what takes place when a person is involved in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta and how an experienced Georgia motorcycle injury lawyer can help.
Common causes of Georgia motorcycle accidents
There are many factors that contribute to motorcycle accidents.
Excessive speed is a leading cause of collisions. When a vehicle travels at a higher speed, the driver requires a larger stopping distance. Higher speed also reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to other vehicles and changing conditions on the road.
Following too closely may also contribute to a rear-end collision as motorcycles are able to come to a complete stop very quickly while larger vehicles require more time and a larger distance.
Slippery road conditions, fog and other hazards that obstruct a driver’s view may also contribute to a motorcycle accident.
In some cases, a driver’s reckless behavior directly results in a collision. For example, distractions like texting and eating while driving can increase the risk of an accident. Intoxicated driving is another contributing factor in motorcycle collisions.
What injuries do motorcycle collisions cause?
While we always hope an accident does not result in injury or death, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable due to their lack of protection. Motorcycle accident injuries can be as minor as scrapes and mild bruises, to as severe as paralysis, brain injury and death.
Because motorcyclists are not surrounded by automotive glass, bumpers, fenders, airbags and sidewalls, they’re more likely to be severely injured or killed in a collision.
What do I do after a motorcycle accident?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Georgia, your first step should be to call 911 and request medical personnel and police. Allow emergency medical workers to examine you at the scene. Even if you feel unhurt or only mildly sore, seek a more thorough medical evaluation at an emergency room, clinic or another medical office.
After receiving a medical evaluation, contact an experienced local Georgia motorcycle accident attorney who can guide you through the process of documenting any potential damages you may have suffered. Your attorney can also help you communicate with the insurance company and, if necessary, file a claim in court.
How is fault determined in Georgia motorcycle accidents?
Determining fault is often complex. Insurance companies may consult several sources in their effort to piece together exactly who and what caused the accident. Their investigators will likely consider the following pieces of evidence:
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Statements from parties directly involved in the collision
- Photos and evidence gathered at the accident scene
- Damage done to each vehicle
Georgia follows the comparative fault system; therefore, both drivers may be at fault. Under the state’s current comparative negligence rule, a driver may still receive compensation even if they’re partially at fault in the accident. However, a driver who is at least 50 percent at fault or more will not be awarded damages.
Are motorcycle helmets required in Georgia?
Georgia law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding. Not only have studies shown that wearing a helmet prevents brain injury, neck injury and death in some cases, but not wearing a helmet may affect your ability to receive compensation if you are injured in an accident. For example, an insurance company may argue that you were in violation of the law and are, therefore, not entitled to receive as much compensation for your resulting injury.
In another example, the at-fault party may successfully argue that your injury may have been entirely prevented or mitigated had you worn a helmet for safety. Not only is wearing a helmet the safe option, but it’s also a legal requirement under Georgia’s helmet law.
How do motorcycle accident cases differ from car accidents?
One of the most obvious ways motorcycle accidents differ from car accidents is the rate of catastrophic injury that occurs. Motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer severe injuries. Therefore, cases that involve injury to the motorcyclist often have a greater potential for large settlements and judgments.
Because an injured motorcyclist is more likely to require more compensation for medical expenses, ongoing rehabilitation and lost income (if the victim is unable to work), insurance companies are more inclined to fight harder against adequately compensating motorcycle accident victims.
When to contact an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta, the attorneys at Scholle Law Firm are here to advise you, protect your rights, and represent you in court if necessary. Our experienced and trained lawyers are dedicated to winning the compensation you deserve.