Motorcyclists are common throughout Roswell. When an accident happens with a motorcycle, drivers often blame the biker. However, many drivers fail to realize the danger of unsafe lane changes for motorcyclists—and how often they can lead to accidents. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident involving an unsafe lane change, call a Roswell lawyer today.
John Foy & Associates has over 20 years of experience helping accident victims in Georgia. We are here for you and your family after a painful and overwhelming accident. We’ll go over your legal options during a free consultation. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started today.
Unsafe Lane Changes and Motorcycle Accidents
When motorcycle riders travel between traffic lanes, it’s known as lane splitting. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §40-6-312, lane splitting is illegal in Georgia. At the same time, bikers have a right to a full lane of traffic like any other vehicle.
After an unsafe lane change accident, the driver of the car might blame the biker. They might claim the motorcyclist was lane-splitting or passing illegally. However, any motorist can cause an accident in an unsafe lane change.
Drivers might cause a motorcycle accident by:
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Moving into a biker’s lane, causing a side-swipe accident
- Forcing a biker off the road
- Changing lanes in the middle of an intersection
- Merging in front of a motorcyclist and slamming on the brakes
Motorcycle riders have the same right to the road as any other driver. Anyone can cause a collision by changing lanes incorrectly. Plus, bikers are more likely to suffer serious injuries when an accident happens.
Changing Lanes Safely in Georgia
Drivers must also be careful when changing lanes. According to Georgia law:
- Drivers should stay within their lane until it’s safe to change lanes.
- Drivers should also signal long enough to alert other drivers before merging.
If someone isn’t careful when changing lanes, they can cause an accident. This is especially common with motorcycle accidents.
Many drivers don’t think to look for small vehicles like motorcycles. This can easily lead to an accident where the driver merges without checking first. For example, a small motorcycle might be in a driver’s blind spot. By the time the driver notices the biker, it’s too late.
If an unsafe lane change caused your motorcycle accident, you have rights. The other driver could be responsible for your medical costs, lost income, and more. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Roswell, GA, to learn your rights.
How to Know Who’s at Fault for a Motorcycle Accident
The negligent party in a motorcycle accident is responsible for the damages. In legal terms, “negligence” means someone has been careless. For example, making an unsafe lane change is a type of negligence.
After the accident, you’ll have to prove that the other driver was negligent. This can be difficult to do, which is why it’s best to contact a lawyer. Even if you think you might be partly at fault, talk to a lawyer about the details.
Partial Fault in Roswell
Georgia is a fault state. It also follows modified comparative negligence laws. That means:
- An injured party can recover damages if they were less than 50% at fault.
- The injured party’s compensation can be reduced by their percentage of fault.
- No one can recover damages if they were 50% or more at fault.
Sometimes, more than one person is at fault for an accident. If you contributed to the accident, it might affect your compensation.
Suppose you have damages totaling $100,000. You are found to be 10% at fault for the accident. Another driver is 90% at fault. Your compensation would be reduced by 10%, so you can still recover $90,000. You would be responsible for covering the remaining $10,000.
Determining fault in an accident is complicated. Also, the other driver might try to use it against you. Before assuming any fault, talk to a lawyer. Our motorcycle accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Standing Your Ground with the Insurance Company
If another driver caused your accident, their insurance company is probably responsible for the costs. Sadly, insurance companies don’t like to pay much on injury claims. They also often blame motorcyclists for crashes, even if it’s unfair.
After the accident, do not accept any fault or blame. Avoid discussing the crash with anyone except an experienced lawyer. You can also protect your rights by:
- Calling the police to report the accident
- Making sure officers create a crash report
- Taking pictures of your injuries, bike damage, and the entire scene
- Getting medical treatment as soon as possible
- Documenting your costs after the accident
- Avoiding any communication with the insurance company
The driver’s insurer might contact you after the collision. Even if the representative seems nice, don’t trust them. Their main goal is to pay you as little as possible.
Call a Roswell motorcycle accident lawyer before talking to the insurance company. Once you have a lawyer, you can direct the insurer to your lawyer. Your attorney can also help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
The insurance company might offer you a lowball settlement—but don’t take it. The first offer is never going to be enough to cover your damages. Instead, your lawyer will know how to determine your total damages and negotiate for a better offer.
Talk to a Roswell Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Did an unsafe lane change lead to your motorcycle accident? You shouldn’t have to pay for a crash you didn’t cause. To make sure you know your legal options, call John Foy & Associates.
We have been helping accident victims for over 20 years. Motorcycle accidents are one of our practice areas, so we are well-versed in motorcycle accident laws. Our lawyers don’t collect a fee unless we win you money, and the consultation is always free.
Contact us for a free consultation after your accident. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today.