Riding a motorcycle is a great hobby. Georgia’s terrific weather and breathtaking scenery encourages thousands of bikers to flood the state each year.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are not a rare occurrence. According to one report from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, over 200 people were killed riding motorcycles in Georgia in 2017. Thousands more suffer devastating injuries that leave them holed up at home or in the hospital, often unable to work.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, help is available. You should contact one of our Rockdale County motorcycle accident lawyers right away to get started.
Compensation for Your Injuries
Motorcycle accidents cause serious physical and financial harm to victims, who need compensation to help them cover their expenses and provide for their families. Fortunately, you can receive money for a variety of losses caused by your accident, such as:
- Medical expenses, including bills associated with hospital stays, surgery, doctor’s appointments, rehabilitation, counseling, and prescription drugs.
- Lost wages, if your motorcycle accident left you unable to work.
- Property damage, such as damage to your motorcycle. Often, you can receive money to repair it or, if your bike is totaled, replace it.
- Pain and suffering, for the pain that accompanies any physical injury.
- Emotional distress, for negative emotions such as depression, anger, anxiety, and irritability.
If a loved one died in a motorcycle accident, then family members can receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, including the amount of income your loved one was projected to earn had he or she lived.
Each case is different. At MG Law, we have met with people who suffered minor physical injuries and those whose lives have been forever changed after the collision. We will carefully review the facts of your case to determine what kind of money you can receive.
Proving Your Case
The fact that you were injured does not, by itself, prove you are entitled to compensation. Instead, Georgia law requires that the person responsible be negligent. Put simply, negligence means that the person or entity did not act with sufficient care.
For example, the following are examples of negligence:
- A motorist who is not paying attention because they are texting or eating when they hit you.
- A motorist who does not look over their shoulder when backing up.
- A motorist who is reckless around motorcycles, such as passing them illegally or tailgating them.
- A pedestrian who steps in front of a motorcycle, causing you to lose control.
- A motorcycle manufacturer that creates a defective part on the motorcycle, which ultimately fails and causes a crash.
What to Do after a Motorcycle Accident
The moments after a crash can be dizzying. If you are badly injured, all you might be able to do is lie still and wait for the ambulance to arrive. However, if you can move around, then we recommend that you do the following to bolster your case:
- Get pictures of the accident scene, especially where your motorcycle ended up. Pictures can help establish who is at fault for the crash.
- Take pictures of any skid marks on the road or debris that has scattered.
- Don’t admit responsibility for the collision. Even apologizing could be construed as an admission of guilt.
- Get immediate medical treatment. The sooner you receive treatment, the faster you can get well.
Who Pays for my Medical Treatment and Damages After a Wreck?
Car wrecks are expensive. Many of our clients need thousands of dollars in medical treatment and also suffer other economic losses, such as damage to their vehicle and lost income because they could not work. Someone needs to pay for this, and under Georgia law the driver who is at fault of the accident pays.
But don’t worry about the poor driver! He or she has insurance for precisely this reason. Their insurance should cover the costs of the wreck and compensate for intangible losses like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
There are a couple things to keep in mind. First, you will need medical treatment before you get your settlement, so someone needs to pay for that. It could be your health insurer, or you could also pay it out of your own pocket. If you use health insurance, then your insurer will have a right of reimbursement once you receive your settlement.
Second, the policy limit might not be high enough to cover all your losses. Say the driver had the minimum insurance in Georgia–$25,000 in bodily injury liability per person. If your losses exceed this amount, then you will need to find other sources of compensation. For example, the at-fault driver might have another umbrella insurance policy that could cover the accident.
How a Rockdale County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Helps
To prove your case, you will need to gather evidence that proves the at-fault party was careless. Many of our clients are too injured to leave the house, so this is where hiring a lawyer is a great benefit. Your lawyer can find helpful evidence to construct your case, such as:
- Eyewitnesses to the crash
- Police reports
- Physical evidence left on your motorcycle
- Evidence left behind at the scene of the crash
In some cases, it is obvious how a motorcycle accident unfolded and who is at fault. In others, it is not immediately clear. For example, if a vehicle merged into traffic and sideswiped you, then the driver might claim you were responsible for failing to yield.
We can also negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurer. Negotiations are complicated and require experience and tact. Insurance companies are not eager to offer fair settlements, and they certainly fear facing off against an established firm like MG Law.
Contact MG Law Today
Motorcycle accidents are difficult to overcome, but help is available. At our firm, we regularly represent injured bikers who need a settlement to help pay their rent or mortgage and keep the lights on. Reach out to us today.
One of our Rockdale County motorcycle accident lawyers can meet with you for a free consultation. Schedule yours by calling or sending us an online message today.