Few accidents are as catastrophic as those involving motorcycles. Without protection, motorcycle riders are far more likely to suffer debilitating and life-threatening injuries when struck by another vehicle or injured in a collision. If you suffered critical injuries caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you may have the right to financial compensation.
However, the claims process can often be overwhelming while you are still healing from the trauma of your injuries and struggling to cope emotionally. Thankfully, when you have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at T. Madden & Associates working for you on your personal injury claim, you can breathe easier. Our firm will work tirelessly to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages. Learn more about what you should expect from your insurance and civil claims when you contact our office for a free consultation.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can take multiple forms. Here are some of the most common types of motorcycle crashes a motorcycle accident attorney at our firm is equipped to take on:
- Intersection Collisions: Motorcycles are particularly vulnerable at intersections, where other vehicles may fail to yield the right of way, run red lights or stop signs, or make left turns without noticing an approaching motorcycle.
- Lane Change Accidents: When a driver fails to check blind spots or uses a turn signal incorrectly, they may collide with a motorcycle while changing lanes.
- Rear-End Collisions: Motorcycles risk being rear-ended by vehicles following too closely or failing to notice the motorcycle in front of them, leading to significant injuries for the rider.
- Left-Turn Accidents: These occur when a vehicle making a left turn fails to see an oncoming motorcycle, resulting in a collision. Left-turn accidents can be particularly dangerous due to the high speeds involved.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are often catastrophic. They can occur when a driver crosses the centerline or enters the wrong lane, leading to severe injuries or fatalities.
- Lane Splitting Accidents: Lane splitting refers to riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Accidents can occur if drivers are not aware of motorcyclists maneuvering through traffic or if the motorcyclist engages in unsafe lane-splitting practices.
- Road Hazards: Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards such as potholes, debris, oil spills, or uneven pavement. Hitting a road hazard can cause a rider to lose control and crash.
- DUI/DWI Accidents: Accidents involving intoxicated drivers can be devastating for motorcyclists. Impaired drivers may have reduced reaction times and fail to notice or properly react to motorcycles on the road.
- Sideswipe Accidents: Sideswipe accidents occur when a vehicle strikes the side of a motorcycle, often due to a driver’s failure to check blind spots or while attempting to merge into another lane.
- Dooring Accidents: These accidents happen when a driver or passenger opens their vehicle door without checking for oncoming motorcycles, causing a collision with the motorcycle.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Georgia
Figuring out the cause of your motorcycle accident is arguably the number one priority of your attorney. The cause of the accident will point our motorcycle accident lawyers in the direction of the liable party, particularly when liability is not evident. Some of the causes of motorcycle accidents in Georgia include:
- Drunk driving car accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Lane splitting accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Accidents caused by following too closely
- Failure to yield to a motorcyclist’s right of way
- Motorcycle accidents involving inclement weather or wildlife
- Hazardous road conditions
- Defective or malfunctioning motorcycle or vehicle parts
These are just a few causes of motorcycle crashes. Your personal injury lawyer will conduct an in-depth investigation into the cause of your injuries to reveal the identities of anyone who may have contributed to your accident and resulting damages.
Who to Sue for Your Motorcycle Accident Damages
Once we have an idea of how your motorcycle accident occurred, we can determine who should be held accountable in your motorcycle accident lawsuit. For example, if a negligent driver caused your motorcycle crash, filing a claim against them would be a no-brainer.
However, other parties could share liability as well. For instance, in a drunk driving accident, not only could you sue the drunk driver, but you may also have grounds for a claim against local dram shops or social hosts who sold alcohol to someone already intoxicated.
In cases where vehicle defects cause motorcycle accidents, auto parts designers, manufacturers, and other parties could share fault. Alternatively, if hazardous roads were the cause of your motorcycle crash, you may have the right to pursue legal action against the government agencies and municipalities responsible for road safety.
Do not be surprised if our motorcycle wreck investigation reveals multiple parties share blame for your injuries. Although this may make your case more complex, it also increases your chances of recovering the compensation you are entitled to, as multiple parties will be responsible for sharing the financial burden.
The Value of Your Georgia Motorcycle Accident Claim
After suffering catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to be made whole through your motorcycle accident injury claim. Every single loss should be considered when calculating the value of your claim. You are entitled to reimbursement for not only out-of-pocket or monetary losses (economic damages) but every loss that does not involve money (non-economic damages).
Examples of the economic and non-economic damages that may be available include:
- Motorcycle repair or replacement costs
- The diminished value of your motorcycle
- Healthcare expenses
- Loss of household services
- Wage-related losses and reduced earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Chronic pain and physical suffering
- Personal property losses
- Mental anguish and psychological trauma
- Disfiguring scars
Georgia Motorcycle Accident FAQ
The trauma of your motorcycle accident could have a considerable impact on your life for years to come. We understand you may have many questions about how the claims process works and what to expect from your case. For this reason, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about motorcycle accident claims in Georgia below. If you have additional questions or concerns not covered on this page, do not hesitate to ask. We offer free consultations, so you can contact a reputable Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney at our firm to discuss your details further.
How many motorcycle accidents occur in Georgia annually?
According to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, there are nearly 4,200 motorcycle accidents annually, causing over 2,700 injuries. There are more than 150 motorcycle accident-related fatalities in the state, accounting for approximately 12% of all motor vehicle accident deaths.
What should I do immediately after a motorcycle accident in Georgia?
The aftermath of your motorcycle accident may initially be chaotic. However, it is important not to panic. You must do what you can to remain calm and take the following steps to start building a case against the liable party and protect your future:
- Call 911 and law enforcement officials to the scene of your motorcycle accident. They can gather evidence to support your case, file a police report that details who is responsible for the accident and how it occurred, and secure other valuable evidence that could later be used to prove the defendant’s liability.
- Obtain a medical evaluation as soon as possible. If you wait, your condition could rapidly worsen once the adrenaline and shock begin to fade. You do not want to worsen your condition by failing to get medical treatment in time. Furthermore, if you get medical help immediately, you can start compiling evidence after the accident. Failure to do so gives the liable party an opportunity to argue your injuries are not as severe as you claimed they were.
- Gather evidence at the scene of your motorcycle accident. This is a good time to take photos of property damages and your injuries, collect witness contact information and names, and take a moment to jot down important details about how the accident occurred. The seemingly minor details may be forgotten as time goes on but could prove valuable in establishing fault and proving negligence.
- Once you have received medical help, make sure you contact an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. You should not have to worry about these legalities while you heal. Instead, your motorcycle accident lawyer can take over investigating the cause of your accident, proving liability, hiring expert witnesses, quantifying your damages, and dealing with the insurance company on your behalf.
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident claim in Georgia?
Your motorcycle accident claim must be filed before the personal injury statute of limitations expires. According to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you have two years from the accident date before the statute of limitation passes. Unfortunately, if your claim is not filed before this deadline, the court system may refuse to hear your case. This may make it impossible for you to recover.
However, it should be noted that certain circumstances may warrant an extension of the statute of limitations. For example, if a minor child was injured in a motorcycle accident, victims experience delayed symptoms after a motorcycle crash, or injuries were not diagnosed until weeks or months after the accident, the deadline may be extended. Thankfully, your motorcycle accident lawyer will have answers and ensure your claim is filed before time runs out.
Can I still pursue a motorcycle accident claim if I was partially at fault?
Absolutely! Georgia does not follow pure contributory negligence laws. Instead, we follow a modified comparative negligence system. This means when you are partially to blame for your injuries or the accident you sustained, you can still recover compensation if your portion of fault does not exceed the threshold. According to O.C.G.A. 51-12-33, this is 50%. As long as your liability is less than 50%, you should still be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, you should remember that the amount you are awarded will be reduced proportionately.
For example, if you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of the accident, the judge presiding over your case may determine you share liability for your traumatic brain injury. If they find you 15% liable for your injuries, expect your settlement to reflect a 15% deduction, leaving you with only 85% of your award. If you are not sure how shared fault laws will influence the outcome of your motorcycle accident case, discuss your specific concerns in further detail with your dedicated Georgia motorcycle accident.
How long does it take to settle a motorcycle accident case in Georgia?
It is difficult to say how long it might take to settle your Georgia motorcycle accident case. Many factors will influence the outcome of your case, including how many parties contributed to the accident, whether you share fault, whether the liable party has insurance coverage, and how substantially your life has been affected by your injuries. Claimants that can file a claim with the insurance company may find financial relief sooner.
However, since most insurance settlements do not cover every loss, even those who can recover compensation through an insurance claim may need to prepare to go to trial if they hope to recover the losses the insurance company does not cover. Generally, it could take several months to several years before your motorcycle accident case is successful. Although, in some instances, it may take time to pursue your case, with help from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, your efforts will be worth it in the end.
Meet With A Top-Rated Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Do not get stuck covering the costs of your motorcycle accident injuries if another party’s reckless or negligent actions were the cause. You have the right to total restitution for your losses. You can hold the at-fault party accountable to the fullest extent of the law when you get help from one of Georgia’s leading motorcycle accident attorneys at T. Madden & Associates.
Our firm proudly fights for our client’s rights and will work tirelessly to ensure the liable party pays. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today when you complete our quick contact form or call our office to get started on your case.