Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are far from rare in Georgia. According to a report published by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, nearly 150 people are killed in motorcycle wrecks in the state each year. Many thousands more innocent bikers sustain very serious injuries in traffic accidents.
Motorcyclists have every right to the road. If a motorcyclist has been injured due to the negligence of another driver, they are entitled to full compensation. Yet, unfortunately, fair compensation can be difficult to recover. The big insurance companies are notoriously hard to work with, especially motorcyclists, who are forced to face unfair stereotypes.
At MG Law, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers help injured bikers get the full settlement offers that they deserve. If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle accident in Northern Georgia, our legal team is standing by, ready to assist you.
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The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are inherently exposed. Sadly, when a motorcycle accident does occur, the injuries have the potential to be catastrophic. Nationally, federal government data indicates that almost 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in traffic collisions on an annual basis. As motorcycles continue to become more popular, that number only continues to grow larger. Many other bikers also sustain severe, sometimes even life-changing injuries.
Injured Georgia motorcyclists need to be represented by a personal injury attorney who has the skills and experience to get them the full compensation that they deserve.
At MG Law, our GA motorcycle accident attorneys handle all types of injury claims, including those involving:
- Road rash;
- Biker’s arm;
- Broken bones;
- Torn muscles;
- Torn and dislocated ligaments;
- Severe whiplash;
- Back injuries;
- Internal bleeding;
- Organ injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Psychological trauma;
- Loss of limb;
- Spinal cord damage; and
- Partial or total paralysis.
These are only a few examples of injuries that happen in a motorcycle accident. You might have one or more injuries that aren’t on this list. If so, we want to know more about them.
We Help Bikers Fight Back Against Unfair Stereotypes
Based on misleading portrayals in popular culture, many people unfairly assume that all motorcyclists are risk-takers and thrill-seekers. As a result, when people find out that a crash occurred between a motorcycle and a standard-sized car, their natural assumption is that the biker must have been the one who was at fault for the accident. However, the data paints a far different picture: according to a well-known, comprehensive study on motorcycle accidents called the ‘Hurt Report’, bikers are less likely to be at fault for multi-vehicle accidents than are other motorists.
Indeed, in the ‘Hurt Report’, researchers found that standard-sized vehicles were to blame for approximately 75 percent of the accidents involving both a passenger car and a motorcycle. Many other studies have come to similar conclusions. Yet, despite the overwhelming weight of the evidence, many people, including insurance adjusters, still unfairly stereotype motorcyclists as risky drivers. At MG Law, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers help injured bikers fight back against these stereotypes so that they can obtain the full and fair compensation that they deserve.
Steps to Take Following Your Motorcycle Accident
The steps you take following a motorcycle accident are important both for your health and your potential legal claim. Your actions immediately following the accident can impact the strength of your claim.
If possible, you should take the following steps after an accident:
- First, assess your own injuries and don’t do anything that could cause further harm.
- Next, ensure everyone else is okay and call for police and medical personnel to respond.
- Be sure to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or motorcycle rider. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their contact information. Don’t wait for the police to arrive as some witnesses might need to leave beforehand.
- If your injuries are not too severe, try to take photos of the scene. You want to take photos of the damage to the vehicle and motorcycle, skid marks, debris, and other items that might be relevant to your claim.
- Seek medical treatment immediately if you do not require transport from the scene. It would be best to get checked out even if you don’t think you’re injured because you might have internal injuries.
- Contact a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer at MG Law right away. The sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can start protecting your rights.
Be cautious about what you say at the scene to the other driver, the police, first responders, witnesses, or anyone else. Do not admit fault. Even saying “I’m sorry” could be construed as an admission of guilt. The same applies if the other driver’s insurance company contacts you. Do not agree to a recorded statement without legal representation. The claims adjuster is looking for any information they can use to deny liability and avoid paying you compensation.
How to Prove Liability in a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Case
Similar to the majority of U.S. states, Georgia is a ‘fault’ insurance state. This means that a victim needs to prove that another party was to blame for their motorcycle accident to establish liability. More specifically, a motorcycle accident claim must typically be brought under Georgia’s comparative fault statute (§ 51-12-33). For motorcycle crash victims, this statute has a couple of important implications.
To start, the fault is based on negligence. Negligence is generally defined as the failure to take adequate care in the context of a particular situation. Essentially, this means that if another party, usually another driver, did something careless or reckless, and their unsafe conduct contributed to your accident, then you can hold them legally liable for negligence. In practice, negligence in a motorcycle accident case can come in a variety of different forms.
Some common examples include:
- A driver running a red light or stop sign;
- A driver speeding or making reckless maneuvers;
- A driver failing to check their mirrors before changing lanes;
- Distracted driving, including cell phone use and texting while driving;
- Intoxicated driving, including drugged driving and drunk driving; and
- Motorcycle manufacturer negligence.
Notably, Georgia is a comparative negligence state. This means that two or more parties can share the liability for the same motorcycle crash. A motorcycle accident victim may even be held partially liable for their wreck. When this happens, the victim’s compensation will be reduced. If the insurance company is trying to blame you for your accident, you need to speak to a legal professional immediately.
For example, if a jury determines you’re 20% at fault, you will receive 80% of your damages. If you’re 49% at fault, you will receive 51% of your damages. If you are 60% at fault, you will receive nothing. That’s why we strongly recommend hiring a lawyer. You won’t receive any money if you aren’t able to show the other driver is liable and that you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If the insurance company is trying to blame you for your accident, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at MG Law immediately.
What to do if My Wreck Results in a Concussion?
It isn’t always apparent whether you have suffered a concussion. In many cases, motorcyclists will blackout immediately after their crash. But you do not have to blackout to suffer a concussion, so you should pay careful attention to how you feel in the days following a crash. Sometimes, it takes days for you to manifest symptoms, such as blurred vision, confusion, headaches, and difficulty with mobility and balance.
If you suspect a concussion, get to the hospital immediately. A doctor will discuss your accident and possibly order an MRI or CT scan. Once you have a diagnosis, the doctor can advise how best to treat the concussion, which will probably consist of treating symptoms like pain, sleeplessness, and anxiety.
You can make a claim for a concussion by holding onto your medical bills and receipts. You can also receive money if your concussion symptoms force you to miss work. Many clients receive a significant amount of money for the pain, inconvenience, and emotional distress that they endure.
Remember to keep your prescription drug bottles for any painkillers, sleeping pills, and antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medication. It is possible to receive much more in pain and suffering than you received in medical bills when you have a concussion.
Compensation Available for Injured Georgia Motorcycle Accident Victims
Under Georgia law, motorcycle accident victims have a right to make a claim for the full value of their damages. Of course, the big insurance companies are not eager to pay out full and fair settlement offers.
To get a full financial recovery after a motorcycle accident, a victim’s damages must be properly documented and they must be ready to take on the insurance company. Our aggressive Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help.
You may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Motorcycle repairs or replacement;
- Emergency medical costs;
- Other medical expenses;
- Lost current and future income;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Loss of limb;
- Other severe long-term physical damages; and
- Wrongful death.
Every case is different, so the types and amounts of damages will vary depending on accident circumstances. When you meet with an attorney from MG Law, we will explain how to calculate your case value.
Statute of Limitations for a Motorcycle Accident in GA
Like other types of personal injury cases, you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the deadline is typically two years from the accident date. However, that is not always absolute, as some factors may impact the filing date.
Should you miss the deadline and file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case. Don’t inadvertently jeopardize your case by missing the deadline.
Contact Our Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
We can help. At MG Law, our staff has extensive experience handling motorcycle accident claims in Georgia. If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle crash, our top-rated attorneys can help you recover the full and fair financial compensation that you deserve.
From our office in Conyers, Covington, and Atlanta, we represent motorcycle accident victims throughout Georgia, including in Dekalb County, Fulton County, Rockdale County, Henry County, Walton County, and Gwinnett County.