Covington Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles are just one of the many types of vehicle you see on Georgia roadways. Just like passenger vehicles, light trucks, tractor trailers, and buses, motorcycles have unique handling idiosyncrasies and specific needs. When other roadway users – or even motorcyclists themselves – do not give these idiosyncrasies and needs necessary consideration and care, motorcycle accidents can occur.
When a victim is injured in a motorcycle accident, he or she can seek compensation for any damages he or she suffered as a result through a personal injury claim. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. If you are involved in an accident, seek medical care for your injury as soon as you can. After you have received a diagnosis and appropriate treatment, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyers about filing a claim to pursue compensation for your damages.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
The same types of driver negligence that cause car accidents can also cause motorcycle accidents. These include:
- Drunk driving;
- Distracted driving;
- Aggressive driving; and
- Drowsy driving.
Additionally, motorcycles are more susceptible to accidents caused by debris in the roadway because of their smaller size and lower stability than four-wheeled vehicles. Dead animals, trash, and natural debris like sticks and lawn clippings on the roadway pose a serious hazard to motorcyclists.
When motorcycles lane split, or ride between two lanes of traffic, they face an increased risk of collisions with cars. Many motorists say they cannot easily see motorcyclists who are lane splitting, which makes it easier for them to accidentally collide with the motorcyclists as they change lanes. Lane splitting is illegal in Georgia.
Motorcycles are also more susceptible to spinning out and crashing on roadways where they are required to make sharp turns. This is because they are less stable than other types of vehicle.
Special Considerations for Motorcycles on the Roadway
Motorcycles are more difficult to see than other types of vehicle, especially at night. When a motorcyclist does not equip his or her motorcycle with lights and reflectors, he or she faces a greater risk of being involved in a collision during the evening hours.
This reduced visibility puts motorcyclists at an increased risk of being hit by cars as they turn. One of the most common types of motorcycle accident is a collision between a motorcycle and a car making a left-hand turn.
Motorcyclists also face a greater risk of injury in an accident than motorists because their bodies are completely exposed. Wearing a helmet reduces a motorcyclist’s chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury in a collision, but it does not provide the same protection that a car’s metal frame provides its occupants. Even with a helmet, a motorcyclist and his or her passenger face a higher risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury than a passenger vehicle’s occupants.
What if I need surgery after my wreck?
Surgery is often necessary to make a complete recovery. We have seen motorcycle accident victims require surgery to:
- Set a broken bone, especially one that has broken into several pieces in a comminuted fracture
- Deal with herniated discs in the vertebrae
- Stop internal bleeding
Surgery is expensive and rife with complications. Fortunately, you can receive compensation to cover the full costs of the surgery, including time to recover in the hospital and prescription drugs or prosthetics once you are discharged.
It can take weeks to recover from surgery, or much longer. In the interim, our clients cannot work and must stay at home to recover, costing them valuable income when they need it most. Helpfully, Georgia law allows you to receive compensation for lost wages in addition to medical expenses.
One problem with surgery is that someone has to pay for it, and you usually cannot wait for your case to settle. Instead, you need surgery now. If you have health insurance, then you can use that to cover some of the costs of the surgery. Of course, you will be responsible for your copay and whatever amount your insurer does not cover. After you reach a settlement, your insurer has a right to be reimbursed, which is called a “right of subrogation.”
Work with an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Covington GA
When you are facing substantial financial damages related to an injury you sustained in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about your rights, legal options, and the laws that govern personal injury claims in Georgia, schedule your free legal consultation with one of the experienced Covington motorcycle accident attorneys on our team at MG Law today.
Seeking Compensation for your Motorcycle Accident Damages
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical bills;
- Your lost wages, both short-term and if you suffer a disability, the wages you cannot earn in the future; and
- Your pain and suffering damages. These include your mental trauma from the accident and how the injury impacted your quality of life.
In order to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim, you must demonstrate how the other party’s negligence directly caused you to suffer your injury and subsequent damages. To do this, you must provide evidence that shows what caused the accident, how the accident occurred, your injury and its complications, and any additional ways the injury negatively impacted your life. The evidence you can use to support your claim may include:
- Photographs of the accident and your injury;
- A copy of the official accident report;
- Copies of your medical bills;
- Documentation of your lost wages;
- Testimonies from witnesses to the accident;
- Expert testimony from your doctor discussing your injury’s prognosis and your future treatment needs; and
- Any documentation that supports your claim for pain and suffering damages, such as testimony from your mental healthcare professional or copies of your bills for the transportation and domestic help you needed to hire to enable you to continue living your day-to-day life.
In Georgia, an accident victim may only recover compensation for his or her damages if he or she is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. When a victim is partially at fault, his or her total compensation amount is reduced by the percentage of the fault he or she holds. For example, an individual who is deemed to be 20 percent at fault for an accident may only recover 80 percent of his or her claims total value.
How you can be Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
There are many ways you can be injured in a motorcycle accident. Some are fairly minor. Others are severe, sometimes requiring extensive medical treatment to correct. In these more extreme cases, an injury can have permanent complications like paralysis, nerve damage, and in the case of a traumatic brain injury, an increased chance of suffering from dementia later in life.
Injuries you can suffer in a motorcycle accident include:
- Broken bones;
- Soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains;
- Limb loss;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
- Neck injuries.
Other permanent complications of a motorcycle accident injury include vision and hearing loss, disfigurement, a risk of infection or hypovolemic shock from a deep cut, and mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.