Government reports estimate that motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured than a car occupant. When it comes to motorcycle accidents, insurance companies tend to blame the biker.
You need a qualified and experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Atlanta to fight for your right to recover damages. With knowledge and experience handling these types of cases, you want an attorney who will help you fight for every damage to which you are entitled.
What to Do After Being in a Motorcycle Accident
After being in an accident you should gather as much information as possible. If another driver is involved, get their contact information. Look for witnesses and get their names and numbers. Photograph anything from the crash scene and any vehicles involved. Be sure to contact the police to make an official report. If you are injured, call 911 and get medical help immediately.
Remember to not give a recorded statement to any insurance company, including your own, without first contacting a personal injury attorney. It’s imperative to contact all insurance companies, but you have the right to legal representation while doing so. Motorcycle injury lawyers in Atlanta will protect you from saying anything that might be held against you later.
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Difference Between Motorcycle Accidents and Auto Accidents
When you’re on a motorcycle, it’s just you and the road. That’s the allure of the ride, but unfortunately, it’s also the reason why motorcycle accidents result in a greater chance for injury. Almost 96% of every single vehicle motorcycle accident results in some kind of injury.
Cars and trucks are built with more and more safety features while motorcycles still depend upon clothing and helmets for protection from the road. And two-wheeled vehicles are more susceptible to losing control in hazardous conditions.
Because the rider or passenger is often thrown off the vehicle with such great force, motorcycle accidents often result in severe head and neck injuries.
Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Accident Claims
The state of Georgia utilizes the comparative negligence law, as per O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. In this situation, if multiple parties are at fault in an accident, the amount of compensation you can ultimately receive depends heavily on how “at fault” you were for the accident.
What this means is that there is no set damages award you could receive even if you suffered an injury in the accident. And, because of this law, you can only seek compensation if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If the courts determine your fault to be 50% or higher, your entire claim could be denied.
It’s critical to prove which parties were liable in your accident, and for how much. With an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney by your side, the evidence that’s collected will determine your percentage of liability and give your legal team a better idea of how much to ask for in damages. This is true both during settlement negotiations and in court, if your case gets that far.
Common Causes of Atlanta Motorcycle Accidents
Just like in any vehicle accident, driver inattention or error is a big cause of accidents, but the results are more tragic. Motorcycles are harder to see than cars or trucks.
One out of four motorcycle accidents have no other vehicle involved. Instead, the motorcyclist hits a standing object or road obstacle. There may be many reasons for a crash, including:
- Road defects that lead to potholes or pooled water
- Intoxicated drivers
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
- Tree-covered stop signs
- Unsafe road design
- Distracted driving
- Failure to adhere to road signs and signals
- Other drivers swerving in front of a motorcycle
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
In a two-vehicle accident, the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company are responsible for damages. However, this requires proof of fault. Your motorcycle accident lawyer in Atlanta can hire expert investigators to work hard to solidify your case. You have the right to recover any or all of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Reduced earning capability
- Lost wages
- Estimated future costs of medical care
- Repairs to your motorcycle
- Pain and suffering
The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the liable party for their negligence in an effort to prevent them from acting similarly in the future. You can claim punitive damages if the other party’s negligence resulted in severe injuries or disabilities to you in the accident.
As you might expect, punitive damages can be more difficult to prove. Your Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney can help you gather evidence against the liable party to prove they were being negligent and acted with malicious intent. The amount you could ultimately receive depends on the severity of your injuries and how deeply they affect your everyday life.
Wrongful Death in an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Claim
According to 2019 fatality facts issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle deaths accounted for 13% of all motor vehicle crash deaths, with only about 8.4 million motorcycles on the road. In too many instances, motorcyclists pay the ultimate price for someone else’s negligence.
When you lose a loved one, you’re impacted in so many different ways. Atlanta wrongful death lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation to defer any unexpected costs including:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of future income
- Grief and emotional damage
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim for a One-Vehicle Accident
You should call an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney if you are injured in a one-vehicle accident. There may be many reasons for a crash, including road defects that lead to potholes or pooled water; malfunctioning traffic lights; tree-covered stop signs; and unsafe road design. The individuals responsible for road maintenance can possibly be held liable for this.
Motorcycle Passengers Filing a Claim
If you were a passenger on a motorcycle at the time of an accident, then it’s almost certain that you are neither at fault or the cause of the accident. You have the right to file a personal injury claim and a lawyer can help you hold the motorcyclist as well as other drivers accountable for your injuries.
Time Limits to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Atlanta
There is a deadline for filing a motorcycle accident claim. In general, Georgia Code § 9-3-33 states you have two years after an accident to file a claim. However, the statute of limitations can be shorter, specifically if you are filing a claim against a municipality or government entity.
There are a lot of urgent reasons why it’s important to file a claim quickly. Witnesses tend to disappear, accounts change, and evidence can be lost. The sooner your motorcycle accident lawyer in Atlanta can start working on your claim, the more protected you will be.
What an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
While you get the medical care necessary for you to heal from your injuries, an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer can make sure your bike is replaced or repaired and take on your legal responsibilities. This can include:
- Investigating the collision by analyzing evidence
- Determining who is at fault
- Acquiring the testimony of expert witnesses to prove negligence
- Calculating your total damages
- Negotiating with the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve
- Representing you in all legal proceedings
- Managing the deadlines, legal requirements, and settlement for your claim
Filing Separate Claims for the Motorcyclist and Passenger
If both the driver and passenger want to file a personal injury claim, they will have separate cases. Both individuals are eligible to make a claim if another driver is at fault. The same attorney can represent individuals, but there may be times when that is a conflict of interest.
Contact John Foy & Associates to Get the Help You Need
You need a local firm that has successfully handled many motorcycle accident claims. John Foy & Associates is one of Atlanta’s most distinguished and established firms with more than 100 employees, all working together to help people, like you, who have been injured in accidents.
To learn more about how you can recover from your accident, speak with a member of our team today. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to Atlanta motorcycle accident victims.