Every year in the state of Georgia, there are dozens of motorcyclists who are killed in crashes. In fact, in recent years, the number of motorcycle fatalities per year has been over 200 – a number that is harrowing and tragic.
In addition to all of the motorcyclists who are killed in motor vehicle crashes in our state, there are also numerous motorcyclists every year who are involved in crashes that leave them with serious injuries, many of which are permanently disabling.
At Pritchard Injury Firm, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer is passionate about representing motorcyclists who have been injured in crashes and can help you to navigate the claims process if you’ve been involved in an accident.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
While the driver of a standard passenger car has numerous protections that help to prevent injuries, such as a seatbelt and airbags, as well as being surrounded by a steel frame, motorcyclists are not as fortunate.
In fact, many motorcyclists are not even helmeted at the time that their accidents take place.
Because there is nothing to absorb the force of a crash but for the motorcyclist’s body, it is no wonder that these accidents are often fatal. When a motorcyclist is not killed in a crash, they often suffer very serious injuries, including:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- External injuries, including road rash;
- Bone fracture injuries; and
- Crush and amputation injuries.
A motorcycle accident can also result in psychological injuries as well. Indeed, a motorcyclist who is involved in a crash, especially one who suffers serious injuries, may develop anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder after a crash.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
One reason that motorcycles are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident than are passenger cars is that motorcycles are smaller, and therefore harder to see.
This is one of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents: a driver’s failure to see a motorcyclist. A driver’s failure to see could occur because the motorcyclist is riding in a driver’s blind spot, because a driver is distracted, because a driver fails to look, or because a driver performs an illegal lane change.
In addition to motorcycle accidents that happen, because a driver fails to notice a motorcyclist, other causes of these crashes are distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving, lane-splitting, and failing to adhere to traffic rules.
Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Georgia
Georgia follows an at-fault system of recovery, which means that drivers who cause accidents are responsible for paying for them.
This means that if you have been in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s fault/negligence, you maintain the right to file a claim for damages directly against that at-fault party’s insurance (or file a lawsuit against the party themselves).
In order to recover compensation, you’ll need to prove that the party owed you a duty of care, that the duty of care was breached, that the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of your accident injuries, and that you suffered damages as a direct result.
In addition to bringing forth a claim for damages, you also maintain the right to reject a settlement offer if you do not believe that it fully compensates you, and the right to negotiate your claim.
If you cannot reach a settlement offer that is fair, you maintain the right to file a lawsuit for damages.
Tips on Safe Motorcycle Practices
While many accidents are caused by a motor vehicle driver’s negligence, some motorcycle accidents could be prevented if the motorcyclist would have employed safer riding tactics.
Tips for staying safe while riding include:
- Always wear the proper gear. The helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment you can have.
- Never lane split, and if riding with a group, be sure that everyone is trained on safe group riding practices.
- Ride sober. If you’ve had a drink or consumed an impairing substance, don’t get on your motorcycle.
- Know the law – following the law, including speed limits, yield-related, and merging-related rules could save your life.
- Make sure other drivers can see you – stay out of blind spots and make eye contact with a driver before performing a maneuver, such as a lane changing or turning.
Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you have been in a motorcycle crash, you’re probably dealing with serious injuries. In addition to your high medical expenses, you may be looking at property damage losses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and other economic losses.
These are, of course, in addition to your noneconomic losses, such as the value of your pain, suffering, and emotional distress. When you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, your attorney can help you by:
- Investigating your case;
- Determining and proving fault;
- Calculating your damages;
- Handling all paperwork and documentation associated with your claim;
- Reviewing a settlement offer;
- Negotiating your settlement; and
- Advising you of your rights and options.
In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can help you to understand what litigation may look like and help you to make a decision regarding whether or not filing a lawsuit should be the next course of action.
How Can I Find a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near Me?
There are dozens of motorcycle accident attorneys throughout Georgia – search for one who’s near you, who focuses on motorcycle accident law, and who has experience handling cases like yours.
Before you hire an attorney, schedule a free case consultation with the lawyer where you can discuss the details of your case and get a feel for what working with the attorney will be like.
Here at Pritchard Injury Firm our experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Georgia cares about you. To schedule your free case review and learn more about how we can help, please contact us today or send us a message online.
Pritchard Injury Firm also helps victims with serious injuries from motorcycle accidents in Bartow County, Cobb County, Cherokee County and throughout the great state of Georgia.