Determining Who Is Legally Liable in a Motorcycle Collision in Georgia
Motorcycle collisions, not unlike other types of motor vehicle collisions, often occur due to someone’s negligence. In Georgia, the person who is negligent must take responsibility for his or her actions by paying a share of the damages that he or she has caused. Georgia recognizes that, if the motorcycle rider is less than 50 percent at-fault, he or she may recover damages against the at-fault driver for any injuries and financial losses (known as the modified comparative fault system). However, if that same rider is considered 50 percent or more at-fault, he or she cannot recover – regardless of the other driver’s behaviors.
Determining Fault in Georgia Motorcycle Accidents is Complex
Every vehicle collision case is different; however, some types of accidents are more common than others. Most accidents with motorcycles occur at intersections, and they can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. The most catastrophic are those that occur at high speeds – typically on highways. Unique to motorcyclists, even low speed collisions can lead to significant injuries if the motorcycle rider is ejected from their motorcycle onto the hard cement below.
Individuals who have suffered injuries due to an accident in Georgia are entitled to sue the responsible party for damages. These damages may include property damage, physical injuries, emotional suffering, lost wages, or even death. To determine compensation levels, the liability of the accused must first be determined.
Determining who is at-fault is not always straightforward. Instead, several issues will come into play to determine the liability of these accidents, and then these issues will also affect the type and amount of compensation.
- – Comparative negligence first. Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. Under this law, liability is apportioned based on how much each person was involved in the accident. The motorcycle accident victim can still collect, even if he or she was partially at-fault (as long as the courts feel that he or she was less than 50 percent at-fault). But, the compensation for the claim will also be reduced based on the amount of fault. So, if the rider was at-fault by 25 percent, his or her damage award would be reduced by 25 percent, to account for their own actions.
- – Evidence gathered and presented. It is imperative that injured parties gather as much evidence as possible to assign liability. If you are seriously injured, seek assistance from family members and friends – everything from writing down details of the event to taking photographs, and even skid mark documentation, will assist you. Also, witness testimony can be critical in determining fault in these types of accidents.
- – Recreating the motorcycle accident scene. Most motorcycle accidents occur because the motorist was not paying attention to motorcycles sharing the road. These drivers will often state that the rider came out of nowhere. While the rider should use mechanisms to enhance awareness of those driving on the road, it is the driver’s responsibility to pay attention and be aware of motorcycles present on the road, too. By recreating the accident scene, you may be able to prove that the driver was not exercising such caution.
- – Investigations performed by professionals. A professional accident scene investigation is helpful for liability assignment. Everything from tracking glass distribution to forensic clues can help determine how the accident occurred.
Meet with an Experienced, Aggressive Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Georgia
Serious accidents require serious, expert legal representation. T. Madden & Associates, P.C. have extensive experience litigating such cases. We can help you with your motorcycle accident claim. Schedule a consultation today at 770-978-6711 in Atlanta and 706-524-7784 for Augusta. You can also inquire about our services online via our online contact form.