Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you are seriously injured in a motorcycle wreck, you may have grounds to sue the person responsible. This may lead to a damage award that can be used to financially compensate you for your injuries. You may also receive additional amounts for any pain and suffering that was caused. Having a qualified Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney on your side can help ensure that you get the money you deserve.
The personal injury lawyers at Hasner Law have decades of experience helping injury victims in Atlanta. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, we’re here to help you protect your rights and demand the compensation you need. Give our Atlanta law office a call to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment today.
Information on Georgia Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
By the numbers, motorcycle accidents account for 7% of all Georgia traffic fatalities. This statistic is more significant when you consider that only 2% of vehicles registered in the state are motorcycles. This means that riding a motorcycle puts you more at risk of being involved in a fatal crash. Also interesting to note is that 50% of those that die in motorcycle crashes do not have a motorcycle license.
Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Now, while only 4% of vehicle accidents result in visible or severe injuries, 56% of motorcycle accidents result in severe injuries. The most common motorcycle injury is a lower limb fracture. Traumatic brain injuries are also common in motorcycle accidents. They also cause the highest number of motorcycle accident fatalities. However, wearing a helmet makes it far less likely that the rider will suffer a traumatic brain injury.
Causes of Atlanta Motorcycle Crashes
The most common cause of motorcycle crashes involve a driver losing control of the bike. Other frequently cited causes are:
- Following too closely
- Hitting an object or animal, and
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, it’s important that you understand all of your legal rights and options. Give the team at Hasner Law a call to learn more.
How to Bring a Lawsuit Based on Negligence
If you would like to sue someone for injuries you sustained in a motorcycle accident, in most cases you must prove that they acted negligently. Negligence occurs when someone fails to act as a reasonable person would have acted under the circumstances.
For example, if you were hit by a driver that was texting while driving, this would likely be considered negligent behavior. This is because texting behind the wheel is not something a reasonable driver would be doing.
Once you establish that a driver acted negligently, you would then need to prove that their negligence caused your injury. Now, if we take the same set of facts from above, it would be difficult to prove causation if, for example, a bus lost control of its brakes and collided with the texting driver’s car from behind.
Let’s say their car was pushed into the intersection that you were lawfully crossing, leading to a collision with your motorcycle. In this case, it would be difficult to say that the driver’s negligence in texting while driving was the cause of the accident.
Finding Fault When Both Drivers Are to Blame
Automobile accidents often involve more than one person at fault. This would mean that both drivers (or more) failed to act reasonably under the circumstances. But, even if you were partially to blame for the accident, you may still be able to receive compensation.
Under Georgia law, you can bring an accident claim for damages so long as you were not more than 50% at fault. However, the amounts that you can recover will be reduced based on your percentage of negligence.
For example, in the distracted driving example from above, let’s assume that you failed to use a turn signal while entering the intersection where the collision occurred. In determining whether you acted reasonably under the circumstances, the court will consider whether you followed the regulations and recommendations for motorcyclists. Failure to signal would likely be considered in violation of the law and evidence that you acted negligently.
Bear in mind that there is no precise formula for reducing damages based on your fault. If you do not settle your case before trial, the jury will consider the evidence you present and determine how to apportion fault and adjust damages accordingly. These cases can get highly complex, so it’s important to consult with an attorney.
Note that there are many additional regulations in Georgia that you must follow as a motorcyclist to avoid being found negligent in a crash. These include:
- Wearing a helmet
- Wearing protective eye-protection if your motorcycle does not have a windshield
- Possessing a valid motorcycle license, and
- Following all signs and traffic control lights, speed limits, rules regarding when you are and are not allowed to pass.
In addition, your motorcycle must be legal for the road, which requires:
- Working turn signals
- Handlebars not exceeding 25” above the operator’s seat
- Functioning headlights/taillights that are illuminated at all times, and
In Georgia, lane-splitting, which involves a motorcyclist riding on the white line to drive between cars, is illegal. Further, it’s against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that impair your ability to operate a vehicle. This would include the use of prescription medications.
Remember, even if you violated one or more of the rules mentioned above or made some other mistake, this does not mean that you are prevented from bringing a lawsuit. A qualified attorney can help evaluate your case and advise you on how best to proceed.
Single Driver Motorcycle Accidents
Now, not all motorcycle accidents involve another driver. For example, it may be that your motorcycle went off the road and into a tree, or made contact with an object in the road. Keep in mind that if the accident is caused by your speeding or reckless driving, or was simply a matter of poor weather conditions, you likely have no recourse for your injuries.
However, sometimes an accident is caused by another person’s negligence that is not a motorist. An example would be defective brakes or some other malfunction occurring on your bike. In this case, you might have a potential products liability claim against the manufacturer.
Another example would be where someone negligently places or fails to place something on or near the road, such as a road construction sign. In this case, you might have a claim against that person or government body, such as a city or county.
What to Do After an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident
Getting into an accident can leave you pretty shaken up. But, it’s important that you follow a few basic steps, both for your own safety and to help preserve evidence for any potential personal injury claims.
First and foremost, it’s critical that you obtain all necessary medical care. Also, make sure that everyone involved in the accident is safe, and follow any directions issued by medical care providers.
Next, you’ll want to contact your insurance company and let them know about the accident. You will also need to report the accident to law enforcement. If you can, document the collision as best you can. This includes taking pictures of the condition of your motorcycle, making notes regarding the weather conditions and time of day, and writing down any other important information you remember.
Because this can be a stressful situation, it can be helpful to contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney at Hasner Law during this time for guidance.
Damages Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims in Atlanta
If you can prove that someone was at fault for your motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation in the form of a damages award.
Damages include amounts that can be calculated, such as:
- Expenses for medical treatment,
- Wages you lost due to the injury, and
- Reimbursement amounts for property damage to your motorcycle or gear.
You may also be entitled to amounts for things that can’t be so easily calculated. This might include money for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may also be entitled to compensation for wrongful death. This option is typically available for a spouse and/or any dependent children.
Wrongful death amounts can cover lost wages that account for what the deceased person would have earned in their lifetime. It can also include financial expenses, such as medical bills and funeral/burial expenses. Finally, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of your loved one’s care and companionship.
Contact Our Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
Note that under Georgia law, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you’ll want to move forward with your case as soon as possible. This will ensure that important evidence stays accessible and witnesses remain available.
However, there are exceptions to the two-year rule, so feel free to contact our law firm even if the deadline has passed. Call us today for a free consultation. We have extensive experience in motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuits and are committed to making sure motorcycle accident victims get the compensation they deserve.