A motorcycle accident can alter the course of your life in an instant. Without seat belts, airbags, and other protective equipment, motorcycle riders are at a much higher risk of severe injuries and fatalities than people who travel by car. Work with our team of motorcycle accident lawyers in Augusta, GA, to recover maximum compensation for your losses.
At our law firm, we have over 20 years of experience, during which we’ve won over $1 billion for our clients. Our personal injury lawyers in Augusta, GA, work on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about paying us unless we win your case. Call today for a free case evaluation and 24/7 support.
What Are Some Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
When a collision involves a motorcycle and a car or truck, the police and insurance adjusters are often quick to place the blame on the motorcyclist. Unfortunately, the old stereotype of a law-breaking rebel is hard to shake.
However, we have found that most motorcycle riders are conscientious and courteous, while other motorists are often to blame. People in cars aren’t as attentive to motorcyclists as they should be. That kind of negligent behavior could make them liable for your injuries.
Driver negligence can cause collisions in many ways, such as:
- Cutting off a bike when turning
- Not signaling or checking blind spots before lane changes
- Driving while distracted by someone in the car, something on the side of the road, or a cell phone
- Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
- Traveling too fast for road conditions
- Opening a car door in front of a motorcyclist
- Improperly driving around a road hazard
- Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
If you are involved in a collision with a car, don’t be caught off guard if the driver who hit you blames you. “They came out of nowhere!” is a common excuse, but it probably won’t stand up in court.
Motorcycle riders have the same rights as anyone else on the road, and just as you must watch out for cars, other motorists must pay attention and watch for motorcycles.
Georgia Motorcycle Accidents by Manner of Collision
We’ve discussed the causes of motorcycle crashes in Georgia, and now we will focus on how most accidents occur. In our experience with the motorbike crash cases we handle, rear-end accidents and driver inattention are the most common.
Rear-end accidents can happen because cars behind bikers simply aren’t paying attention or respecting the rider’s space. Unfortunately, many people who drive cars mistakenly believe bikers don’t deserve the same amount of space as other vehicles.
Severe weather can also play a part in causing a collision. Georgia’s record of strong winds and large hail contributes to several motorcycle accidents every year. When bikers cannot see the road, they could run into obstacles and get blown over by the wind.
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Georgia Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to 2020-2021 Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) crash data, there were 205 motorcycle accidents in Augusta. Drivers losing control of their bikes was the top contributing factor to these crashes. Other causes included speeding, improper lane changes, and being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Furthermore, the motorcycle’s condition contributed to a significant number of crashes. Thus, brake failure, improper lights, and slick tires were among the leading vehicle-related factors that impacted the collision. You could sue the manufacturer for damages if a defective vehicle part failure led to the crash.
Why Are Motorcycle Crashes So Dangerous?
Motorcycle wrecks tend to be more dangerous than car crashes because there is less of a barrier between you and the road. Cars have layers of plastic and metal between the people in the vehicle and the outside elements. A motorcycle rider may have protective gear, and that’s about it.
When motorcycle riders get into collisions with larger vehicles, they are usually the ones who bear the brunt of the crash. The negligent driver needs to pay for hurting you. Our motorcycle accident lawyer in Augusta, GA, can help you fight for fair compensation.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle crashes often lead to severe injuries requiring medical care. Because riders do not have additional protection from their vehicle, as drivers do, they are more exposed to injuries.
Common injuries you can sustain in a motorcycle crash include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injury
- Neck injury
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Nerve damage
You should seek medical attention immediately after you are injured in a crash. Treating your injuries early can prevent them from worsening and causing additional health issues.
Average Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident in Augusta, GA
In Augusta-Richmond County, you have a right to recover the full cost of your injuries. However, the amount you receive will depend on several factors, including how the collision happened and the extent of your injuries.
For example, if the crash was mainly the other party’s fault, and you were left with a permanent disability, you will likely receive a substantial financial recovery.
Every case is unique. However, as a general rule, motorcycle accident victims may be eligible for several damages after an accident. Your motorcycle attorney in Augusta, GA, will determine which of the following types of compensation may apply in your case.
Special damages, also called economic damages, pay your financial costs related to the collision. Our team of motorcycle accident lawyers in Augusta, GA, can help you recover the following economic damages:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Physical therapy costs
General damages cover non-economic losses that are much harder to quantify. Our Augusta personal injury lawyers can help you recover non-economic damages like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
Insurance companies usually calculate these damages by multiplying your special damages by a number representing the severity of your collision. Unfortunately, this means the amount you receive as general damages may be far greater than your special ones.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death damages are paid to the close family members of someone who has passed away due to an accident. These damages attempt to compensate for the life the deceased person will never get to have, and they can help a victim’s spouse and children move forward after a tragic loss.
Punitive damages are only available in extreme cases but can be significant. These aren’t directly related to your loss; they punish people who behave recklessly, including drunk drivers.
This additional compensation can’t undo the consequences of the accident, but it can help cover your losses and reduce your stress as you return to a normal life. With the help of a qualified motorcycle accident attorney in Augusta, GA, you’ll increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
Who Is At Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
One or multiple parties can be responsible for your accident and injuries. Your lawyer will investigate the crash to identify all liable parties.
Common parties our motorcycle accident lawyer in Augusta, GA, can help you hold accountable include:
- Another driver: Every driver on the road should drive responsibly. When they don’t, and they engage in negligent behavior such as texting or speeding, we can file a personal injury claim against them.
- Bike manufacturer: If your accident resulted from a defective part on your motorcycle, you could hold the company that made or distributed the defective part or bike accountable.
- City or state government: Roads should be in good enough condition to not make taking your bike out for a ride dangerous. But when they do, it’s time to hold the city or state responsible for their actions.
As your lawyers, we can help you file a personal injury claim against every negligent party we identify in your accident. We’ll help you through the process of gathering the relevant documents you need to submit your claim.
What If I Was Lane Splitting?
“Lane splitting,” or driving between lanes of traffic on a congested roadway, is legal in some states.
However, in Georgia, lane splitting is against the law. If you were lane splitting, it could affect your claim, but the exact impact will depend on the circumstances of the crash. When one party is found negligent in a collision, that driver (or, more likely, the driver’s insurance company) must pay for all the costs.
The local courts in Augusta hold people liable for motor vehicle accidents based on negligence. Negligence is carelessness; in a motorcycle accident, it can mean anything from distracted driving to drunk driving. Tailgating and aggressive driving are also forms of driver negligence.
Understanding the Comparative Negligence Rule in Georgia
If more than one driver is negligent, Georgia uses a modified comparative fault system to decide who can recover money. For example, you could receive money if you were less than 50% at fault. However, the fact that you were partly at fault means you will receive less than you otherwise would have.
Suppose you were lane splitting, not wearing a helmet, or doing something else the insurance company perceives as dangerous. In that case, the insurer may try to deny your claim, saying the accident was your fault. However, this is not necessarily true.
Yes, you may have broken the law, but that wasn’t necessarily the only cause of the accident. Likewise, your behavior may not have caused the accident. These complex liability issues are why having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your Augusta, GA, team is important.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Georgia?
Yes. The law states that people hurt in accidents have limited time to file a personal injury claim. This rule is called the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a lawsuit or a claim before the deadline has passed, you will not be allowed to recover compensation.
In Georgia, the deadline for filing is two years from the injury, per Ga. Code § 9-3-33. Sometimes recovery from a motorcycle accident injury can take a long time, risking you missing the deadline. It would be best to speak with a personal injury attorney immediately after your crash to keep your options open.
With the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer in Augusta, GA, who understands local statutes and protocols for filing a claim, you will have the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.
Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Augusta
John Foy & Associates is a national leader in recovering money for accident injuries. We know how to help you get financial compensation to pay your medical bills, keep a roof over your head, and continue with the healing process.
Let us give you a free initial consultation to discuss your case and explain what our motorcycle accident attorneys in Augusta, GA, can do. Contact us by phone or fill out the online form to start today. We’ll gladly help you get the “Strong Arm” on your side.