If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, you already know that these accidents are different from car wrecks in one stunning way—a motorcyclist is more likely to get hurt or killed than someone in a car. Recent 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. Not only that, but the image of a motorcyclist conjures up a rebel, a rule-breaker. Even your own insurance company may doubt that you weren’t to blame.
“Insurance companies love to blame the biker,” says John Foy, founder of John Foy & Associates. You need a qualified and experienced motorcycle accident attorney to fight for your right to recover damages.
Find out your rights by calling our offices at 404-400-4000.
What do I do if I or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident?
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, you should gather as much information as possible. If another driver is involved, get that information. Look for witnesses and get their names and numbers. Take photos of anything that you think might be relevant to your case. And be sure to contact the police to make an official report. Because you’re on a motorcycle, insurance companies will try to blame you. That’s why it’s important to have an official police report. And of course, if you or someone else is injured, call 911 and get medical help immediately.
And remember–do 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 be represented by an attorney while you’re doing so. Personal injury attorneys will protect you from saying anything that might be held against you later.
How are motorcycle accidents different from 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 death or injury. “The numbers are staggering,” says Foy. In fact, almost 96% of every single vehicle motorcycle accidents result in some kind of injury.
Motorcycle deaths accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths, with only about 8.4 million motorcycles on the road. 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.
What are the common causes of 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 are cars or trucks. Recent government statistics reported that in 42% of two-vehicle fatal crashes, the other vehicle was turning left while the motorcycle was going straight or passing. In two-vehicle crashes, 78% of motorcycles involved were struck in the front.
Still, one out of four motorcycle accidents have no other vehicle involved, instead the cyclist hits a standing object or road obstacle.
Unfortunately, alcohol is a factor in 40% of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents.
Who do I sue for damages?
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. At John Foy & Associates, we have expert investigators who work hard to solidify your case. Under Georgia law, if you’re less than fifty percent at fault, then you do have a right to recover the following:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost wages
- Repairs to your motorcycle
- Pain and Suffering
You, as a motorcyclist, have certain responsibilities under Georgia law:
- All riders, front or backseat, should wear helmets.
- You are not permitted to “lane split” or squeeze in between other vehicles to get ahead.
- You must ride with head and tail lights on.
- You must have the proper license to operate any motorized bike.
What if I am somewhat at fault or I wasn’t wearing a helmet? Can I still file a claim?
You may still sue for damages as long as the other driver is responsible for the crash. “If you’re hurt, we want you to call,” says firm founder Foy. Let us help you recover your health and your motorcycle.
What if I am in a one-vehicle accident, do I still have the option to pursue a personal injury claim?
We urge you to call a 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.
Call John Foy & Associates at 404-400-4000 and we’ll sort out the details.
If I was a passenger on a motorcycle, do I have 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. Yes, you have the right to file a personal injury claim.
My passenger and I were both injured in a motorcycle accident. Are those separate claims? Can I be sued?
The driver and passenger have separate cases. If another driver is at fault, both of you can make a claim, but they must be made separately. The same attorney can represent both the passenger and driver, but there may be times when that is a conflict of interest. But take the first step of protecting both of you by contacting a motorcycle accident attorney.
Is there a time limit to file a claim in a motorcycle accident?
There is a time limit for filing a claim in a motorcycle accident. In general, the law in Georgia is that you have two years after an accident to file a claim. However, the statute of limitations is sometimes 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. We’ll make sure you get the proper medical treatment as quickly as possible. The sooner your attorney can start working on your claim, the more protected you will be.
How can a motorcycle accident lawyer help me?
Motorcycle accidents are very different from the typical car or trucking accident. First, even your own insurance company may treat you like you are at fault. Your injuries will undoubtedly be exasperated; you may have traumatic head and neck injuries. 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.
We’ll help you get the medical care necessary for you to heal as much as possible and we’ll make sure your bike is replaced or repaired.
Call a motorcycle accident attorney at John Foy & Associates at 404-400-4000 and find out what we can do for you. Your call is free.