A motorcyclist struck in an accident may have the right to file an injury claim under Georgia law. Filing a lawsuit for a motorcycle accident in Georgia could be the only way for an injured biker to get the compensation needed to pay for lost wages, past and future medical bills, and other expenses.
If you’re learning to adapt to life after a serious motorcycle crash, you need someone who can walk you through the legal steps of damage recovery. Schedule an initial consultation with the Atlanta, GA, motorcycle accident lawyers at Moebes Law.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes?
Motorcycle crashes can happen because of many different factors. Many of the causes of motorcycle accidents are preventable. Even though only 3% of all registered vehicles throughout the country are motorcycles, these same vehicles make up 14% of traffic fatalities.
Drivers all owe a duty of care to one another on the road, and exercising this care to motorcycle riders is extremely important because of their exposure to devastating or life-threatening injuries.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia include the following:
- Drinking and driving
- Rear-end accidents
- Failure to spot a motorcyclist/changing lanes without clearance
- Inclement weather
- Cutting a motorcyclist off in traffic
- Swerving on a motorcycle to avoid an obstacle
Motorcyclists may be diagnosed with conditions like road rash, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, fractures, and lacerations. In many cases, it’s the fault of another driver when a motorcyclist is injured. Drivers operating their vehicle recklessly under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while distracted, or while fatigued can all cause accidents with a motorcycle rider.
Where Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
The majority of motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. Some drivers don’t check their blindspots or verify that the way is clear before turning or crossing an intersection. In those brief moments, a motorcycle rider’s life can be changed forever.
The Governor’s Office for Highway Safety in Georgia reported in 2019 that, geographically, most motorcycle crashes in Georgia happen in cities and towns in the north. The areas with the highest rates of motorcycle accidents are in Atlanta and counties near the Tennessee border.
Motorcycle accidents in Georgia can and do happen everywhere, however, and it’s often the bike rider who ends up with the most serious injuries.
Whom Can I Sue for a Motorcycle Accident in Georgia?
A thorough investigation of the accident scene may be required in order to determine liable parties. Under the Official Code of Georgia annotated 51-1-6, an injured party can seek compensation for damages due to a negligent party’s actions.
These individuals or entities include a manufacturing company who may have developed a defective part, another driver, another motorcyclist, or a government entity. Government entities are typically pursued in motorcycle accidents in which the condition of the road guardrails or other equipment was not properly installed or maintained.
If you’re unsure of what caused the accident and were not able to stay at the scene to gather important evidence, your personal injury lawyer can help investigate the causes. This determination of liability can help with your insurance claim and your personal injury lawsuit.
What if the other person accuses me of fault?
Georgia follows a comparative negligence doctrine, which means that one of the most common defenses for a person accused of causing a motorcycle accident is to allege that the motorcyclist was responsible. Comparative negligence means that if you are determined to be less than 50% at fault for the accident, you are still eligible to recover compensation equal to the remainder of your damages.
Your award will be reduced in accordance with your percentage of fault, but if you are determined to be equally responsible or more responsible than the other party, you would not be able to collect anything.
When do I need to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Georgia?
Any accident that leads to serious injuries should prompt you to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your case. Catastrophic injuries, such as disfigurement, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, or permanent disabilities, should all be taken seriously and may lead to a lawsuit.
Beyond this, each state has specific rules about when you can file a lawsuit following a personal injury accident. In Georgia, this is two years. This may vary somewhat based on the specifics of your case, but due to the complexities associated with motorcycle accidents, it is very important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
If your motorcycle accident happened in connection with a workplace incident, for example, you have no longer than one year after the incident or when your injury or illness was diagnosed. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, this becomes the basis of a related personal injury claim known as wrongful death. This must be filed within two years after the fatal accident occurred.
There are some exceptions to the vehicle accident statute of limitations, such as if fraud was involved in the case or if the person who was injured was under the age of 18. If your case involves any of these complicating factors, it’s best to discuss it with your lawyer in your consultation.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help My Case?
A Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer is there for you during a difficult time in your life and to help you understand the different issues associated with your case.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will review your evidence, help you submit a demand letter, communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf, negotiate with those parties as necessary, and prepare your full case for trial. Given the extent of most motorcycle accident injuries, it may be necessary to ensure that you have a lawyer working at your side from the outset of the case.
For any motorcycle rider with critical injuries, hiring a lawyer helps to protect the biker’s rights while allowing that injured person to get the treatment they need.