Some people love the thrill that comes with riding a motorcycle, while others like the convenience it offers while on the road. Unfortunately, motorcyclists have minimal protection in the event of a crash. All accidents on the road are devastating, but motorcycle riders tend to be at higher risk of serious consequences, including death.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible for compensation in Georgia. However, proving negligence is not always straightforward, and when you are in pain and recuperating, the last thing you need is the stress of dealing with insurance adjusters and their lawyers.
This is why you need an experienced Suwannee motorcycle accident lawyer. The team at The Herro Law Firm has helped numerous motorcycle accident victims recover the settlement they deserve. Call our Suwannee car accident lawyers today at (404) 433-6876 to protect your rights!
How Can a Suwannee Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With Your Claim?
Some people believe they can handle the claims process on their own. While you are allowed to, it is best to have a legal representative by your side to increase the chances of maximum compensation. Here are some ways that a Suwannee motorcycle accident lawyer can help with your case:
- Collect, analyze and organize the necessary evidence and paperwork relevant to your case.
- Communicate with the insurance carriers.
- Present the necessary evidence and paperwork to prove liability and damages.
- Communicate with healthcare providers to collect medical information to prove injuries sustained.
- Work with independent investigators and other experts to strengthen your claim.
- Negotiate with the other party for a fair settlement.
- Prepare for trial and represent you in court.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle accidents can be avoided. Common causes include:
- Driving Under the Influence – Driving while drunk or on drugs impairs your judgment and the ability to operate the vehicle properly.
- Distracted Driving – Taking your eyes off the road increases the chances of crashing.
- Failure to Pay Attention to Motorcycles – Some drivers don’t pay attention when switching lanes and may not see the motorcycle behind, leading to a crash
- Faulty Brakes, Lighting, or Mirrors – Poorly designed or maintained parts could result in severe crashes.
- Sudden Stops – When a vehicle stops too suddenly, the motorcycle behind may not have enough time to break, resulting in an accident.
- Poor Road Conditions – Potholes, debris, and crumbling pavements increase the risk of a motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Georgia
Georgia may have a small percentage of motorcyclists (2%) of the total registered vehicles. However, motorcycles account for a substantial number of fatalities in the state. This should not come as a surprise as most motorcycle accidents lead to severe injuries and even death, primarily due to the minimal protection.
According to 2019 reports, motorcycles account for 11% of road accidents. The Georgia Motorcycle Traffic Safety Fact Sheet data also shows that these accidents have been gradually increasing over the past 5 years, with an average of 140 fatalities each year.
The Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Georgia
Every motorist is expected to follow all traffic rules and be considerate of other road users. In the state of Georgia, motorcyclists are expected to adhere to several motorcycle-specific laws, which include:
- No lane-splitting.
- Always wear protective eyewear or install a windshield.
- Always wear a helmet.
- A maximum of 2 motorcycles per lane.
- Have at least one side mirror.
- Handles shouldn’t go beyond 15 inches above the seat.
- A Class M license is required to ride a motorcycle.
- It is illegal to carry an item that prevents you from having both hands on the handlebars.
Unfortunately, even the most conscious and experienced motorcyclists are still vulnerable to accidents while on Georgia roads. If you have been a victim, don’t hesitate to contact Herro Law to protect your rights.
What Are the Common Injuries Sustained from Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Crushed limbs
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash
- Internal injuries
- Burn injuries
- Muscle damage
- Neck and back injuries
How Is Liability Determined in a Suwannee Motorcycle Accident?
When you file a motorcycle injury claim, you need to show that the party at fault was negligent. This is the biggest reason you should hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Negligence entails a failure to observe the duty of care, leading to injury to others. In Georgia, the following 4 elements are essential in proving negligence:
Duty of Care
You’re expected to show that the other party owed you a duty of care. In this regard, the duty of care entails the legal responsibility all motorists have while on the road and observing traffic rules.
Breach of Duty of Care
Next, you need to show that the other party breached the duty of care. For example, if the defendant was drunk when the accident occurred, then they breached their duty of care towards you.
Third, you have to show that the breach of duty of care was the direct cause of the accident, resulting in injuries and losses. This is usually the trickiest negligent aspect due to the many factors that could have contributed to the accident.
Lastly, you must show that you suffered damages from the accident. Damages can include financial costs like medical bills as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover for a Motorcycle Claim?
In Georgia, there are three primary types of damages you can recover. They include:
Also known as special damages, economic damages entail losses that are objective in nature and calculable. Examples include property damage, lost wages and earning potential, medical expenses (past, current, and future), and the cost of home modifications if you are left with a disability.
Also known as general damages, non-economic damages are designed to compensate you for non-monetary losses incurred due to the accident. They include mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of companionship, physical impairment or disfigurement, pain and suffering, etc.
These are rare for motorcycle accident claims, but punitive damages can be awarded in cases where the party at fault showed malicious intent to cause harm or extreme negligence. They are designed to punish those liable and discourage everyone from showing such behavior.
Why Was My Claim Denied?
If you are a motorcycle accident victim that was due to the careless or negligent actions of another party, you may expect compensation for your injuries and losses. However, this is not always straightforward and the insurance company will try every trick in the book to deny your claim.
Some of the reasons behind a claim denial include:
- The motorist wasn’t insured under the policy.
- Your policy lapsed or was canceled.
- The company doesn’t believe you sustained injuries or losses.
- The company does not believe the accident is to blame for your injuries and losses.
- They believe the accident was your fault.
Luckily, claim denial is not the end of your case. The law allows you to defend yourself in a number of ways, including filing a lawsuit or petition. Our seasoned Suwannee motorcycle accident lawyers will help review your insurance policy and determine if the insurance carrier is being truthful and look for other available ways to seek compensation.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in GA?
Georgia has a statute of limitation for all vehicle accidents including motorcycle accidents. In the state, you have a time limit of 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Waiting beyond this period strips you of the right to make a claim.
This time limit might seem more than enough, but personal injury cases tend to be complex and time-sensitive in regard to evidence collection and preservation. Reach out to the Suwannee motorcycle accident lawyers at The Herro Law Firm as soon as possible so that we can begin preparing the paperwork and ensure you meet the deadlines.
Hire a Suwannee Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today!
Motorcycles are without a doubt an enjoyable and convenient way to navigate the sometimes frustrating roads of Georgia. However, they come with a substantial risk in the event of an accident. Motorcycle accidents usually lead to severe injuries or even death. While other motorists are protected by their vehicles, motorcycle riders only have a helmet as protection.
Motorcycle riders and other motorists should never forget that they are sharing the road with others. Roads become far much safer if everyone obeys traffic rules. This means not driving while distracted or intoxicated, speeding, running red lights, or ignoring other rules. While it is impossible to get rid of accidents on Georgia roads, everyone has a responsibility to practice safe driving.
If you or a family member is a victim of a motorcycle accident caused by a careless or reckless driver, it is important to protect your rights. Hire the best lawyers motorcycle accident lawyers in Suwannee and seek the compensation you deserve. Schedule your initial free consultation by calling The Herro Law Firm at (404) 433-6876 today!