Contrary to popular belief, most motorcycle accidents are not always the biker’s fault. A huge number of collisions are actually caused by other motorists, especially car and truck drivers. Unfortunately, the bikers end up suffering the brunt of the damage from the crash.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident in Marietta, GA., you should consider the services of Marietta motorcycle accident lawyers at Diaz & Gaeta. We can help you seek justice and hold the at-fault person liable for your damages. Reach out to our Marietta auto accident lawyers at 678-503-2780 to schedule a free consultation.
How Can a Marietta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Some victims mistakenly believe that they can handle the process of filing an insurance claim on their own. However, it’s far better to work with a motorcycle accident attorney to help you build a strong case and ensure you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.
The following are some of the ways our motorcycle accident attorneys will help you handle your compensation claim:
- Collecting, analyzing, and organizing key evidence and records relevant to your case.
- Presenting the necessary paperwork and evidence to prove damages and liability.
- Communicating with the insurance companies.
- Communicating with your healthcare providers to obtain the necessary medical information and records to prove damages in your claim.
- Working with independent investigators and experts such as accident reconstructionists to strengthen your case.
- Negotiating with the defendant and their insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
Being involved in a motorcycle accident doesn’t mean that you have to handle the legal aspects on your own. Get in touch with the Marietta motorcycle accident lawyers at Diaz & Gaeta to have an experienced lawyer review your case for free.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Many motorcycle accidents are both avoidable and preventable. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving – When a driver takes their eyes or mind off the road, they could fail to spot a motorcycle in the vicinity and cause a crash.
- Failure to pay attention to motorcycles – Failure to yield to a motorcyclist or pay attention when changing lanes or making a left-hand turn, puts riders in danger of a serious collision.
- Drunk driving or drugged driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs affects the ability to operate a vehicle safely and can easily lead to a crash.
- Faulty mirrors, brakes, or lighting – Poorly designed or manufactured motorcycle parts could lead to serious accidents, even if the parts are used as intended.
- Unexpected pedestrians on the road – encountering pedestrians crossing the road at undesignated areas could result in the rider losing control of the bike and injuring both parties.
- Dangerous road conditions – Debris, potholes, crumbling pavements, and lack of road signs could increase the chances of getting into a motorcycle accident.
- Sudden stops – Serious motorcycle accidents often occur from a rear-end collision caused by a vehicle that stops too suddenly without warning.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
While motorcyclists in Georgia represent just a small percentage (2%) of the total number of registered motor vehicles, they account for a considerably greater number of fatalities each year. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as most collisions involving motorcycles result in fatal or serious injuries to the rider, mostly due to the lack of outer vehicle protection.
In 2019, motorcyclists accounted for 11% of the total traffic fatalities and 21% of the total driver fatalities. This is according to the Georgia Motorcycle traffic safety fact sheet data. Fatalities from motorcycle accidents have increased steadily in recent years: 139 fatalities in 2017, 154 in 2018, 170 in 2019, and 179 in 2020.
What Are the Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Georgia?
It is the responsibility of all motorists, including motorcyclists, to obey all the traffic laws and be conscious of other road users. In Georgia, just as in other states, all riders are expected to adhere to a number of motorcycle-specific laws. They include the following:
- No lane-splitting: Riders are not allowed to share lanes or travel in between cars and trucks on the road.
- 2 bikes per lane limit: Since motorcycles are small enough, they can travel side by side in a single lane, but only 2 per lane.
- It’s mandatory to wear a helmet: Georgia laws require motorcyclists to wear a helmet for their safety. The helmet must be compliant with the standards set by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
- Eyewear or windshield: Clear vision is vital to your safety and the safety of other road users. This is why you are required to wear protective eyewear or have a windshield on your bike when riding in Georgia.
- Handlebar height restrictions: Georgia law requires that motorcycle handlebars should not exceed 15 inches above the seat.
- Side mirror requirements: Your motorcycle should have at least one side mirror.
- Licensing: You need a Class M license to ride a motorcycle in Georgia. This license typically involves passing skills, knowledge, and vision tests.
- Passenger limit: Passengers are only allowed on motorcycles specifically designed to carry more than one rider and should ride upon the seat and wear a helmet.
- Both hands on handlebars: You should not ride a motorcycle in Georgia while carrying any object that stops you from having both hands placed on the handlebars.
Unfortunately, even the most experienced and conscientious motorcycle riders will still be vulnerable to accidents when sharing the road with other motorists. If this happens to you, our lawyers can advise you about your rights under Georgia law and help you pursue damages from the party at fault.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents?
Injuries from motorcycle accidents usually vary from minor to severe. The following are some of the most common injuries we’ve seen in Georgia motorcycle accidents:
- Road Rash.
- Broken Bones.
- Head and Brain Injuries.
- Muscle damage.
- Crushed limbs.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries.
- Severe burns.
- Internal injuries.
How Is Fault Determined in a Marietta Motorcycle Accident?
When you file a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim for a motorcycle accident in Georgia, you have to prove negligence on the part of the at-fault party for your case to be successful. Negligence refers to the failure of the at-fault party to uphold their duty of care, thereby causing injury and harm to others.
There are 4 elements of negligence you have to prove in a motorcycle accident case:
- Duty of Care: You need to show that the defendant had a duty of care towards you. In this case, the duty of care refers to the legal responsibility that all motorists have towards other road users to drive safely and obey traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty of Care: You are also required to demonstrate that the defendant actually breached their duty of care towards you. For example, if the at-fault driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, they would be in breach of their duty of care.
- Causation: Proving a breach in the duty of care is not sufficient. You also need to show how this breach directly caused the accident, which resulted in the losses or injuries you suffered. This is often the trickiest element of negligence to prove.
- Damages: Finally, you will have to demonstrate that you suffered calculable damages as a result of the accident.
To learn more about how we can help you prove negligence following a motorcycle accident, reach out to our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers in Marietta, GA. We can help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim and pursue your rightfully deserved compensation.
Georgia Negligence Laws
It’s worth noting that Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that liability is awarded based on your involvement in the accident. You can collect compensation even if you were partially responsible for the crash, so long as you were less than 50% at fault.
The compensation you receive will be reduced to reflect your percentage of fault. For instance, if you were 30% responsible for the accident, your award will be 70% of the total compensation awarded to account for your actions.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
There are three main types of damages you can receive for your accident:
Also referred to as special damages, these are the losses that can be objectively quantified and calculated. They typically include the following:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses.
- Lost earnings and earning potential.
- Property loss, including any repairs or replacement.
- Costs to obtain domestic services.
Also referred to as general damages, these are meant to compensate the victim for non-monetary losses suffered as a result of the motorcycle accident. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering (past and future).
- Emotional distress and mental anguish.
- Physical impairment, disfigurement, and scarring.
- Loss of consortium and/or companionship.
While rare, punitive damages can be awarded in motorcycle accident cases, especially if the actions of the defendant showed willful malice, misconduct, oppression, or indifference to the wellbeing of others or the consequences. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and discourage them and the members of the public from such behavior in the future.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
If your motorcycle accident was caused by a reckless or negligent driver, you may expect their insurance company to compensate you for your losses and injuries. Still, many claims end up being denied. Insurance companies will use different excuses to refuse to compensate motorcycle accident victims fairly. While some of their reasons may be valid, many are simply wrong.
The following are some of the common reasons why your motorcycle accident claim might have been denied:
- Your policy was canceled or lapsed.
- The driver was not insured under the policy.
- They are under the impression that the accident was your fault.
- They don’t see how you were hurt.
- They don’t believe that the accident is responsible for your injuries.
Fortunately, a denied claim is not the end of a motorcycle accident case. You can contest the denial in several ways, including filing a lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys can help you review your insurance policy and establish whether the insurance company is telling the truth and figure out other available avenues for seeking compensation.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Claim in Georgia?
Yes. Georgia law requires that all motorcycle accident claims be filed within 2 years from the date of the accident. Failure to meet the 2-year deadline means that you may no longer be eligible to bring the claim in the future.
While the deadline might seem like more than enough time, personal injury cases are often time-sensitive, especially when it comes to collecting and preserving evidence. Contact the Marietta motorcycle accident lawyers at Diaz & Gaeta as soon as possible after the accident so that we can start preparing the paperwork for you immediately and ensure you meet the deadline.
Let an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Marietta, GA Help You!
Motorcycles can be a fun and dependable way to navigate Georgia roads. However, everyone must remember that they carry significant risk in case of an accident. Motorcycle accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. While most other drivers are protected by their cars, riders are only protected by a helmet. As such, accidents are often painful and expensive for motorcyclists.
Neither drivers nor motorcyclists should forget that they are sharing the road with others. In fact, the roads will be a lot safer if all motorists follow the rules of the road and are always aware while operating their vehicles. This means not driving while intoxicated or distracted. While we understand that we can never eliminate accidents from our roads, we know that they can be safer, and we urge everyone to never forget this.
If you believe that your injury and damages from a motorcycle accident were a result of negligence on the other driver’s part, you might be eligible for compensation. Contact a Marietta motorcycle accident lawyer today at Diaz & Gaeta – we can help you understand your legal options and decide your next steps.
Reach us today at 678-503-2780 for a free case evaluation.