Motorcyclists in Johns Creek enjoy the thrill and freedom of the open-road ride. However, riders must also keep in mind the hazards of riding a motorcycle over driving a closed car or truck. While the “reckless biker” stereotype is unfair, there are cases where a rider’s actions do cause an accident.
If a motorcycle rider caused your accident, contact our Johns Creek motorcycle accident lawyers. We’ll investigate your accident to determine what happened. Then, we can discuss building a claim to seek compensation.
John Foy & Associates has been in personal injury law for over 20 years. We’ve developed a reputation as the “Strong Arm” because we’re not afraid to fight for your rights. To discuss your financial recovery during a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Causes of Negligent Motorcycle Rider Accidents
The majority of motorcycle accidents happen because of other drivers. But there are exceptions. Some people fail to follow the law. And if a rider is careless on the road, their actions can lead to a collision.
“Negligence” is a lack of ordinary care, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-1-2. Operating a motorcycle on Johns Creek roads comes with responsibility. If a rider isn’t careful and they cause an accident, they could be liable for the damages.
Examples of motorcycle rider negligence include:
- Lane splitting (riding in between lanes), which is illegal under OCGA §40-6-312
- Tailgating another vehicle
- Failing to signal when changing lanes
- Excessive speeding
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Hitting a parked vehicle
- Running a red light or another traffic signal
- Racing other riders
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
If the rider was negligent in your accident, you likely have a case. The first step is to file an insurance claim against the motorcyclist. If the rider is on the road legally, they should have auto insurance.
Keep in mind that insurance companies rarely fight fair. The insurance company will probably look for ways to blame you for the collision. They know that most accidents happen because of motorists, and they might use it against you.
You can protect your legal rights by:
- Gathering strong evidence from the accident
- Documenting your injuries and damages
- Not admitting any fault or blame for the crash
- Talking to a Johns Creek accident lawyer immediately
An experienced lawyer can protect your rights from the beginning. Your attorney will handle the insurance company and their tactics. If the insurance company denies your claim or tries to offer a lowball, your lawyer will know how to respond.
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Partial Fault for a Motorcycle Accident
In Johns Creek, the at-fault party in an accident is liable for the damages. When more than one person contributes to an accident, it becomes more complicated.
Georgia has comparative negligence laws, which means:
- Injured people can collect damages if they are less than 50% at fault.
- If someone is 50% or more at fault, they cannot collect damages.
These laws can work for or against you, depending on the situation. If you have some fault in the accident, you can likely still seek compensation. However, the insurance company might also try to blame you in an effort to pay you less.
If you were partly at fault, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault. Do not accept any blame without speaking to a lawyer first. If you hold no fault in the accident, you may be entitled to 100% compensation for your damages.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Rider Causes an Accident
After your accident, document everything you can. You will need strong proof to support your claim and your damages like:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Even though you didn’t cause your accident, the burden is on you to prove negligence. Here are some ways you can begin building your claim.
Report the Accident
Call the police to report the motorcycle accident. Tell the responding officers about the biker’s behavior. For example, let them know if you suspect the rider is under the influence.
Ask where you can get a copy of the accident report. This will ensure officers make a report of the crash for your records. The accident report is the first official proof of your collision.
Document the Scene
Gather whatever information you can from the scene like:
- Pictures and video of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries and vehicle damage
- Names and contact information for eyewitnesses
- Anything else that might help show what happened
Your lawyer can contact witnesses later to get statements. Also, note any nearby traffic or surveillance cameras. You might be able to get copies of the footage.
Get Medical Attention
If you or someone else has serious injuries, call 9-1-1 for an ambulance. Don’t wait to get emergency medical treatment. If you don’t need help at the scene, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Save all medical records, doctor notes, and more. You’ll need this documentation to support your insurance claim. If you’re not sure what to save, talk to your lawyer.
Keep Track of Your Damages
Save all bills, receipts, and other documents showing your damages. You might need past pay stubs or last year’s tax returns. Your lawyer can guide you on what to gather for your claim.
Consider everything you’ve lost because of the accident. If you were not at fault, you probably deserve compensation for these damages.
A Johns Creek negligent motorcycle rider accident lawyer can help calculate all of your damages. That way, you’ll know what a fair settlement offer should look like.
Talk to a Johns Creek Negligent Motorcycle Rider Accident Lawyer
If a motorcycle rider caused your accident, you have rights. You could be entitled to full compensation for your costs. But you must act quickly.
The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. You have that much time, or less, to build and file a claim for compensation. If you wait too long, you might miss your chance—so talk to a lawyer today.
John Foy & Associates has 20-plus years of experience helping accident victims. We can look at your accident and discuss your best options. To do that during a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.