A single motorcycle accident can change your life forever. Without seat belts, air bags, and other protective equipment, motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of serious injuries than people who travel by car.
A motorcycle accident can put you in the hospital long-term, or you may need several surgeries and months of physical therapy. You may not be able to go back to work, and meanwhile, you have no income and no way to pay for it all. An Augusta motorcycle accident attorney from John Foy & Associates can help you.
What Are Some Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
When there’s a motorcycle accident, Police and insurance companies are often quick to place the blame on the motorcyclist. The old image of a law-breaking rebel is hard to shake off. But we have found that motorcyclists are usually conscientious and courteous drivers, and another motorist is frequently the one to blame.
People in cars aren’t as attentive to motorcyclists as they should be. That makes them negligent and legally liable for your injuries. Their negligence can cause accidents in many ways:
- By cutting off the motorcycle when making a turn
- During lane changes, by not signaling or checking blind spots
- By driving while distracted by someone in the car, something on the side of the road, or a cell phone
- By driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- By driving too fast for the road conditions
If you are in an accident with a car, don’t be surprised if the car’s driver tries to blame you. “He came out of nowhere!” is a common cry, but don’t believe it. Motorcyclists have the same rights on the road as anyone else, and just as you must watch out for cars, other motorists must pay attention and watch for motorcycles.
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Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Dangerous?
Quite simply, because there is less of a barrier between you and the road. Cars and trucks have feet of plastic and metal between the people in the cab and the road. A motorcycle rider will have protective gear and that’s about it.
When a motorcycle rider gets into an accident, they’re usually the ones with the brunt of the injuries. All the more reason why a negligent driver needs to pay for hurting you. Our Augusta motorcycle accident lawyers can help you get that compensation.
Augusta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 706-400-4000
How Much Money Can I Recover From a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
In Augusta-Richmond County, you have a right to recover the full cost of your accident. But the amount you receive will depend on a number of factors, including the way the accident happened and the injuries you have.
As a general rule, accident victims may be eligible for several types of damages after an accident. Your motorcycle accident attorney in Augusta will determine which damages apply to your case.
Special damages pay your financial costs, including medical bills, hospitalization, prescriptions and the cost of fixing your bike or buying a replacement. Special damages also include “lost wages,” or the paychecks you have missed out on if you could not work because of your accident.
General damages cover noneconomic losses that are much harder to place a dollar value on. This includes pain, emotional trauma like flashbacks and depression, and the way the accident has affected your quality of life.
Insurance companies usually calculate these damages by multiplying your special damages by a number that represents the severity of your accident. This means that the amount you receive as general damages may be far greater than your special damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death damages are paid to the closest family members of someone who has lost their life in an accident. These damages attempt to make up for the life that the deceased person will never get to have, and they can help a victim’s spouse and children begin to rebuild their lives after a tragic loss.
Punitive damages are only available in certain types of cases, but they can be significant. Punitive damages aren’t directly related to your loss; they are the law’s way of punishing people who behave particularly recklessly, including drunk drivers.
Money can’t fix the effects of the accident, but chronic stress can impact your healing process. The money you get in an injury claim can keep you from having to worry so much about finances, helping your body to do a better job of healing.
What if I Was Lane Splitting in Augusta?
“Lane splitting,” or driving between lanes of traffic on a congested roadway, is legal in some states, and some studies have shown that it may be safer for motorcycles than waiting in a long line of traffic and risking being rear-ended.
The local courts in Augusta hold people liable for accidents based on the concept of negligence. Negligence is carelessness, and in a motorcycle accident, it can mean anything from distracted driving to drunk driving to tailgating or breaking traffic laws.
But in Georgia, lane splitting is against the law. If you were lane splitting, it can affect your claim, but the exact impact will depend on the circumstances of your accident. When one driver is found negligent in an accident, that driver (or more likely, the driver’s insurance company) must pay for all the costs. But partial negligence does exist.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Augusta, call 706-400-4000
Understanding Comparative Fault in Georgia
If more than one driver is negligent, Georgia uses a system of comparative fault to decide who can recover money. As long as you were less than 50% at fault, you can recover money. However, the fact that you were partly at fault means you will receive less than you otherwise would have.
If you were lane splitting, not wearing a helmet, or doing anything else the insurance company thinks was dangerous or against the law, the insurance company may try to deny you any money at all, saying the accident was your fault. But this is not necessarily true.
Yes, you may have broken a law, but that wasn’t necessarily the only cause of the accident. In fact, your behavior might not have caused the accident at all. This is one reason it is so important to put a good motorcycle accident lawyer in Augusta on your team.
Is There a Deadline to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Georgia?
Yes. The law states that people hurt in accidents have a certain amount of time to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a lawsuit or a claim until the deadline is 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 an accident can take a long time and put you close to the deadline. That’s why you need to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can after your accident.
Talk to an Augusta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
John Foy & Associates is a national leader when it comes to recovering money for accident injuries. We know how to help you get money to pay your medical bills, keep a roof over your head, and continue with the process of healing.
Let us give you a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your case and explain what our Augusta motorcycle accident lawyers can do. Call us or fill out the form to the right and get your FREE consultation today. We’ll be glad to help you get “the Strong Arm” on your side.