Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there are almost 200,000 motorcycles in the state of Georgia. While driving a motorcycle can be a freeing, fun experience – when there are inexperienced or inattentive drivers, it can be a dangerous or even deadly experience.
According to the same report, there were 138 motorcycle fatalities in the state in 2015. When these injuries occur, many victims of motorcycle accidents understandably want to hold the reckless driver responsible. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an accident, an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help you.
- Fatal Motorcycle Accident
- Georgia Motorcycle Helmet Laws
- Georgia Motorcycle Traffic Laws
- Motorcycle Defects & Recalls
- Motorcycle Accident Health Insurance
- Out-of-State Motorcycle Accident
- Vespa/Motor Scooter Accident
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Atlanta
While the aftermath of a motorcycle accident could be overwhelming, there are certain steps an individual must take to secure the safety of everyone involved. Individuals must also be careful to protect themselves from legal ramifications following the crash, even if they believe the other party was the cause of the accident. Contact a personal injury attorney that knows what to do after a motorcycle accident in Atlanta. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney could explain your rights and help you recover damages.
Information Motorcyclists Should Carry With Them
Drivers are recommended to carry a motorcycle driver’s license and some other form of identification on their person. It is also important for them to have their motorcycle registration information, any relevant medical care information, and all applicable insurance. Carrying an emergency contact card as a safety precaution in event of a wreck is also advised.
It is very important to have blood type information and other medical information so that a first responder could quickly make decisions for a motorcyclist’s benefit and care. Having an emergency contact could also help the authorities notify loved ones who may be able to provide insight on the injured party’s medical care.
Three Pieces of Advice For Beginning a Motorcycle Wreck Claim
Individuals are recommended to be honest when speaking about their crash. This includes articulating the full range of the injuries suffered from a wreck to a medical provider and lawyer. Since communication and trust are an important part of every good case, a successful attorney-plaintiff relationship will be empowered by the honesty of the plaintiff and good communication by the lawyer.
It is also important to be organized. The person involved in a motorcycle accident may need to understand what happened and even create a timeline or a chart of the events of their accident. Understanding the treatment that is required, time missed from work, and potential future limitations or complications in the future will help illustrate the legal damages suffered.
Plaintiffs are advised to be prompt and get a trial lawyer involved in the motorcycle accident immediately. The longer a person hesitates, the more memories fade, stories of the liable parties may change, and the facts that are critical to the case may get lost in the mix. The sooner a person acts, the better chance they may have of a successful claim. Even if they feel their damages are relatively minor, they should call a lawyer. An experienced attorney will know what to do following a motorcycle accident in Atlanta.
Importance of Hiring a Motorcycle Collision Attorney
In order to maximize their compensation, it is important for an injured individual to know what to do after a motorcycle accident in Atlanta. This means that is it essential for them to reach out to a seasoned lawyer. Hiring a lawyer who has tried motorcycle wreck cases often gets the attention of an insurance company. Without a lawyer, an insurance company may try to take advantage of the situation or seek to settle a claim for less than it is worth. A trial lawyer understands the issues involved in these cases. Injured people need to know that their own insurance company might have their best interests in mind.
Role of a Lawyer in a Motorcycle Accident Case
An Atlanta trial lawyer could know what to do when handling the legal aspects of the motorcycle accident case. This may include:
- Interviewing witnesses;
- Interviewing responding officers;
- Providing a medical picture of the injuries;
- Compiling information about the necessary treatment; and
- Learning what treatment may be required in the future.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When a person is involved in a motorcycle collision, they may incur severe and even fatal injuries. These types of extensive injuries could result in significant medical bills, mental trauma, and pain and suffering. If the collision is caused by a negligent party, an injured individual may be eligible to file for compensation. This could substantially help an injured person maintain their financial security and address their unexpected medical bills and costs. If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries following a motorcycle crash, contact a proactive motorcycle accident lawyer. A seasoned lawyer with knowledge of the common Atlanta motorcycle accident injuries could examine the different factors surrounding your accident and work to hold the careless party responsible. Call now and schedule an appointment to start discussing your potential legal solutions.
Frequent Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Crashes
Common Atlanta motorcycle accident injuries can vary across a broad spectrum. Injuries may include anything from minor injuries such as road rash to catastrophic injuries or death. Some believe that motorcycles are particularly dangerous because the rider is largely unprotected close to the ground and not shielded in the same way as persons in an automobile. Injuries that often arise include broken bones, back and neck injuries, shoulder injuries, leg injuries, a concussion or traumatic brain injury, and paraplegia. However, in some cases, injuries can be incredibly severe and may become fatal. In the instance of death due to severe injuries caused by a negligent party, a deceased individual’s family or estate may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Understanding Head Injuries
A traumatic brain injury is defined simply as a brain dysfunction most usually caused by a significant impact to the head or skull. The brain is essentially jolted or impacted (which sometimes results in swelling) and that outside force results in a traumatic brain injury. Depending on where that impact occurs to the head, the effects of the injury can vary.
There is often a spectrum of symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury, anything from a concussion or blurred vision to inability to move or complete paralysis. A traumatic brain injury, especially in the context of a motorcycle accident, is highly plausible because of the dynamics and engineering of motorcycles in relation to other vehicles and the roadway.
There are some symptoms that can be immediate with a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion or losing consciousness, but there are also some symptoms that may happen long after the incident. These symptoms frequently include memory loss, lack of focus, and blurred vision.
A traumatic brain injury impacts all bodily functions and may cause anything from memory loss to complete immobilization. Motorcycle collisions along with anything that disrupts normal brain function can impact the remainder of the body. As a result, a person who is operating a motorcycle should strongly consider wearing protective clothing and a helmet.
How Broken Bones May Result in a Motorcycle Collision
Broken bones occur frequently in motorcycle accidents because the rider typically falls off of the motorcycle and hits the road. They may also be crushed by the motorcycle or hit by another vehicle. Fractures in the arms, legs, back, and neck are common in such collisions. If a motorcycle operator breaks a bone and is not treated quickly or properly, there may be significant future ramifications that could require extensive medical attention throughout the rest of a person’s life. Seeking medical attention immediately after a collision could significantly reduce the risk of long-term negative medical consequences. In addition to broken bones, a person may incur torn rotator cuffs, burns, and even traumatic amputation. Regardless of the circumstances, the more a person knows about the common Atlanta motorcycle accident injuries, the more they could inform their negligence claim against a reckless party.
Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Laws
In Atlanta, most damages recovered from motorcycle accidents are under a theory of negligence. In order to recover compensation for any damages, the motorcyclist must first prove the other driver owed them a duty of care.
This is a fairly easy element of the negligence claim to satisfy, when a person decides to get behind the wheel and drive on Atlanta roadways, they must behave as a reasonable person would. This means driving the speed limit, obeying the traffic laws, and paying attention to the road. This reasonable person standard is a duty owed to all other drivers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists on the road.
Next, the motorcyclist must prove the driver breached this duty of care. A breach is any behavior below what society would expect of a reasonable person. Common breaches in a negligence action include:
- Going faster than the posted speed limit
- Ignoring traffic signs or lights
- Being distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol
Lastly, the motorcyclist must prove that the driver’s breach of their duty of care caused their injuries. The easiest way to gauge whether someone’s actions caused an injury is to do a “but for” test. If the driver’s negligent action not have occurred, would the person have suffered the same injuries? If not, then it is likely the driver’s negligence caused the injuries.
Medical Treatment Following a Motorcycle Accident
Seeking medical treatment following an Atlanta motorcycle accident may be crucial to the well-being of a crash survivor. Getting medical care could also be essential for one’s claim. If you were injured in a motorcycle collision, reach out to a dedicated lawyer who could help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer today and set up a consultation to learn your options.
Motorcycle Collisions Could Lead to Devastating Injuries
Since motorcyclists do not wear seat belts, there is a greater likelihood they could be completely ejected from the motorcycle and travel a great distance before making an impact with the road. Since motorcyclists are not afforded the cover and protection of an automobile, they may suffer more significant injuries.
A rider may also go down with the bike, which could result in severe road rash and broken bones after the person skids with the bike on the road. This could cause second or third-degree burns that may require skin graft surgery and other types of extensive medical treatment.
The manner in which motorcycles are made and operated may also aggravate crashes. Motorcycles could roll over and tip over more readily if the driver swerved out of the way to avoid road debris or for other vehicles. In a motor vehicle, a driver could be more from direct impact with the road or other vehicles and objects. This is why it is critical to seek medical treatment following an Atlanta motorcycle accident.
Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Collisions
There are numerous injuries a motorcycle accident victim could suffer. These injuries could include traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and orthopedic injuries. A motorcyclist involved in a wreck may suffer from a broken femur or other lower body injuries that could prevent them from walking for long periods of time. This could have long-lasting consequences since a broken leg impacts the knee and the hip, which over time may often impact the back and spine. Unfortunately, motorcycle crashes can also lead to the death of the driver. In this situation, the family of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
How Doctors Respond to Motorcycle Accident Patients
In all circumstances, the response window for a motorcycle is critical. This is because motorcyclist is likely to suffer significant and devastating injuries in a wreck. The amount of time it takes for someone to get treated could make a significant difference in the healing and recovery process. In a traumatic situation where an injured person requires emergency care, a doctor will typically assess injuries to the head and major organs to address those injuries that are most life-threatening.
If more than one person is responsible for the injuries, then Atlanta’s negligence law will apply in the motorcycle accident lawsuit. Under Section 51-12-33 of the Georgia Code, a jury will assign a percentage of the blame to each responsible party in a motorcycle accident. Then, each person or business will be responsible for the amount of damages proportionate to their fault.
Therefore, if the motorcycle victim was 10 percent at fault and the other driver was 90 percent at fault, the motorcycle accident victim may receive compensation for 90 percent of the damages they suffered in the accident.
However, Atlanta law follows a modified comparative negligence approach which completely bars the motorcycle accident victim from recovering any damages if the jury assigns 51 percent or more of the blame to them. Therefore, if the motorcycle victim was 90 percent at fault and the other driver was 10 percent at fault, the victim could not recover anything.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
A person interested in learning to ride a motorbike is recommended to exercise safe driving habits for preventing Atlanta motorcycle accidents. New riders could speak to a skilled attorney with experience handling accident cases. An Atlanta lawyer knows the common trends involved in motorbike wrecks and could advise you on how to be a better driver.
Safety Measures for Avoiding Motorbike Crashes
When seeking to prevent motorbike crashes in Atlanta, individuals are recommended to read up on local laws and regulations. The precautions individuals could take to help avert motorcycle accidents apply both to motorcyclists and to other drivers. Motorcyclists are recommended to do a pre-trip inspection before riding to ensure the motorcycle is in good riding shape. Even the most senior motorcyclist may have a checklist that is built upon inspecting tire pressure, tire tread, controls, electronic signals, brakes, and fluid and air levels. A few moments spent doing inspecting those things may prevent unexpected dangers and injuries on the road.
All drivers are recommended to avoid sudden lane changes and to use signals in advance of changing lanes. The Georgia Motorcycle Manual has suggestions for different hand signals. There are ten different hand signals when making turns or other maneuvers on the road. A motorcyclist should master these hand signals in operating a motorcycle. The traveling public should also have a working knowledge of these signals to promote safety. It is important to signal early and remain aware of other vehicles when attempting to make a lane change.
Another recommendation is to have enough “buffer room.” There should be enough space between a motorcycle and other motor vehicles. Georgia’s Motorcycle Manual provides that increasing the distance between the vehicles could increase reaction time and give enough space to maneuver in the event of a sudden stop. The Sour-Second Rule calls for allowing four seconds of following distance to stop, swerve, or keep a reasonable space cushion. Motorists should follow the same guidance and should never tailgate a motorcycle.
Motorists should always avoid encroaching on a motorcyclist’s lane. For motorcyclists, it is important not to ride side by side with other vehicles or other motorcycles. By law, motorcyclists are entitled to have the full use of a lane.
Traveling With Other Bikers
While motorbike riders may enjoy traveling together, the Georgia Motorcycle Operations Manual calls for a staggered ride formation, which is compliant with the law in lieu of riding side-by-side. Using this approach, motorcyclists can maintain a safe traveling distance and remain aware of their surroundings.
Using Hand Signals When Motorbiking
Attitudes towards motorcyclists using hand signals are typically positive since it gives a car driver ample opportunity to see which signal the motorcyclist is using to have enough time to respond. Motorcycles may be difficult to locate in everyday traffic and a motorcycle’s taillights are not always visible. Having additional hand signals could help all drivers be aware of the movement that a motorcyclist is making.
While both hands used for steering are ideal and safe, even the Georgia Motorcycle Operations Manual emphasizes the importance of using hand signals under proper bike control. Each of those signals requires using one hand to operate a motorcycle. This could be done in a very safe fashion and actually promotes safety, as it alerts drivers on the road what maneuver that motorcyclist is making.
Precautions Car Drivers Could Take to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
Car riders are encouraged to exercise good judgment on the road and avoid anything that promotes distractions or the impairment of judgment. All motorists must abide by the relevant traffic control devices and should never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even certain prescribed medications could change a person’s reaction time.
Since motorcycles could easily occupy the blind spots of the other motorists, it is important for motorists to frequently check mirrors and to keep a lookout.
Important Safety Measures to Know
Individuals could exercise road safety by:
- Using the proper hand signals in making turns
- Identifying road hazards
- Signaling increases or decreases in speed
- Understanding the importance of space between motorcycles and other vehicles
- Using the Four-Second Rule – allowing four seconds as the following distance to stop – to give motorists an ample amount of time to respond and adjust when operating a motorcycle
- Exercising good judgment
- Abiding by all relevant traffic and roadway control devices and laws
- Avoiding distractions handheld use of a cell phone and other distractions
- Wearing protective gear
Abiding by safety measures could help motorcyclists mitigate what may potentially be lethal or very serious injuries.
Let an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help
Motorcycle accident injuries are often catastrophic. While drivers are protected by their cars, motorcyclists are only protected by a helmet. This means that these accidents are often painful and expensive. However, if these injuries were the result of the negligence of another, the victim may be able to recover compensation.
If you believe your injury from a motorcycle accident was due to another driver or business, contact an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer today. An experienced lawyer can explain your options and help you decide your next steps. Call for a free consultation.