Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Do I Need to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Answer: Yes. Motorcycle accident cases are challenging. If you try to settle your motorcycle accident claim on your own, the insurance carrier will typically make a low-ball settlement offer. In fact, they may even try to blame you for causing the collision.
An Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer will collect evidence to prove that you were not at fault. For instance, they may track down an eyewitness who can testify that you were driving safely when the other vehicle injured you. A motorcycle accident lawyer also has the resources to hire an expert that can reconstruct the accident if there weren’t any eyewitnesses or surveillance footage.
Motorcycle accidents frequently cause severe injuries such as: paralysis, broken bones, and, amputations. A motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure that you receive medical treatment from the very best medical providers. Then, they will hire experts such as a life care planner and an economist to calculate the future cost of your medical care and your lost future income. That way, you can resolve your motorcycle accident claim for top value.
What If I Only Suffered Minor Injuries from The Motorcycle Accident?
Answer: It’s a good idea to hire an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer – even if you think that the wreck didn’t seriously injure you.
Motorcycle accidents often damage the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) that support your spine and your limbs. If you went to the emergency room after the motorcycle wreck, the physician will typically only order x-rays, or CT scans of your spine. X-rays may reveal broken bones. CT scans may reveal internal bleeding. However, X-rays and CT scans usually won’t reveal muscle, tendon, or ligament injuries.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will refer you to an orthopedic doctor, that will order MRI images of your spine. MRIs produce a clearer image of the soft tissues than X-ray machines or CT scans. The MRI scans may reveal that the motorcycle collision significantly damaged your soft tissues. If so, your orthopedic doctor will create a treatment plan to help you heal those soft tissue injuries sooner rather than later.
If you don’t hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, your soft tissue injuries may go untreated.
I Was in a Non-Contact Accident When a Car Forced My Motorcycle Off the Road. How Can A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Answer: An Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer can help you even if the at-fault driver didn’t strike your motorcycle.
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by vehicles that improperly changed lanes. If a motorcycle rider senses that they are about to be cut-off, or sideswiped by another vehicle, they may take an evasive action that causes an injurious collision. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you sue the driver that initiated the collision sequence.
If the at fault motorist fled the scene of the collision, a motorcycle accident lawyer can work with the police investigator to track down that motorist. If the at-fault motorist can’t be found, a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim with your insurance carrier.
Can I Recover Compensation If I Was Partially At Fault For Causing a Georgia Motorcycle Accident?
Answer: In many motorcycle accident cases, the motorcyclist was partially responsible for causing the collision. The injured motorcyclist can still recover damages as long as they were not more than 50% at fault for causing the collision. However, the motorcyclist’s damages will be reduced by their fault percentage. So, if the motorcyclist suffered $100,000 damages and the motorcyclist was 49% at fault, the motorcyclist’s compensation will be reduced by $49,000.
How Much is My Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?
Answer: Many factors impact the value of your motorcycle accident claim.
Your medical bills are known as “economic damages”. Economic damages also include lost income, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the motorcycle accident.
You may also recover general damages for your pain and suffering that was caused by the motorcycle crash. Most juries use what is known as a “medical bills multiplier” to calculate pain and suffering damages. Insurance adjusters use that same formula when they calculate personal injury settlement compensation. That method multiplies your economic damages (motorcycle repairs, medical bills, lost wages, etc.) by a number between one and six. The multiplier is determined by the seriousness of your injuries.
For example, let’s say that your injuries resolve with conservative medical treatment and your bills only total $25,000. In that scenario, a jury might award somewhere in the range of 1-2 times your medical bills for pain and suffering which would bring your total recovery (economic damages plus general damages) to approximately $50,000 to $75,000. If you had to undergo orthopedic surgery and your total bills exceeded $100,000, a jury might award somewhere in the range of 3-6 times for your pain and suffering which would bring your recovery to approximately $400,000 to $700,000.
What should I After a Motorcycle Accident in Georgia?
Step 1: Call 9-1-1
You should immediately call 9-1-1. Even if you don’t think that you need an ambulance, you should still call 9-1-1 so that they dispatch a police officer to investigate the motorcycle collision and prepare an accident report. The police officer’s accident report is a very important piece of evidence that you’re going to need in order for the insurance company to process your claim – even if you only plan on filing a property damage claim.
Step 2: Take Photographs
Next, use your mobile device to take photographs of the motorcycle accident scene. The photographs should document the collision damage and the roadway. That information often illustrates how the collision occurred. It also helps the insurance adjuster appreciate the impact severity.
Step 3: Get Medical Treatment
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed after you’re injured in a motorcycle accident. However, you should still get examined by a medical provider at the hospital or an urgent clinic. If you delay seeking medical treatment, your injuries might not heal. In fact, they might get worse.
Step 4: Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Your motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure that you receive the best medical treatment. Then, they will negotiate your claim with the insurance company. If the insurance company won’t negotiate in good faith, your lawyer will file a lawsuit and take your case to trial.
Can A Motorcycle Passenger Sue a Motorcycle Driver If the Passenger is Injured?
Answer: Yes. If you were riding as a passenger on a motorcycle driven by a reckless motorist, you can sue that driver if their recklessness injured you. Motorcyclists must carry liability insurance in order to own or operate a motorcycle. That insurance coverage will help compensate you for your injuries. If you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, that coverage provides secondary compensation for your injuries.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim?
Answer: There is a two-year statute of limitations (SOL) to file a motorcycle accident claim in Georgia. That SOL is generally tolled from the date of the collision until the defendant’s traffic citation is disposed, or six years, whichever date is shorter.
Do I Have To Wear A Helmet When I Ride A Motorcycle in Georgia?
Answer: Yes. You must always wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle in Georgia. A helmet will dramatically lower the risk that you’ll suffer a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle collision.
What if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet When The Crash Happened?
Answer: If you weren’t wearing a helmet when the motorcycle collision happened, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. However, you will recover less compensation than you would have if you were wearing a helmet.
Motorcycle riders, like all injury victims, have a duty to mitigate their damages. The best way to mitigate your damages is to take proper safety precautions. If you suffered a head injury because you weren’t wearing a helmet, you didn’t mitigate your damages. As a result, you will receive reduced compensation.
Do My Motorcycle Headlights Have to Be Turned On When I Ride in Georgia?
Answer: Yes. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-312(e) requires a motorcycle rider to keep their headlights and taillights illuminated at all times.
Can I Carry An Object In My Lap When I Ride My Motorcycle in Georgia?
Answer: No. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-311(b) prohibits a motorcycle rider from carrying any package, bundle, or other object that prevents them from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
Can I Ride Side-Saddled on My Motorcycle in Georgia?
Answer: No. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-311(b) requires motorcycle riders to straddle their seat while facing forward.
Can I Ride Barefoot On My Motorcycle in Georgia?
Answer: No. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-311(e) requires a motorcycle rider to wear footwear in addition to, or other than, socks.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Georgia?
Answer: No. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-312(c) prohibits a motorcycle rider from driving between traffic lanes or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
Are Georgia Motorcyclists Allowed to Ride Side-By-Side in A Single Traffic Lane?
Answer: Yes. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-312(d) permits two motorcycles to ride side-by-side in a single lane.
What is a Biker’s Arm Injury?
Answer: Biker’s arm is a term that broadly refers to the neurological arm injuries that motorcyclists may suffer from a collision.
For instance, many motorcyclists extend their arms to brace their falls when they fall towards the pavement. When the arm collides with the pavement at high velocity, the radian, median, and ulnar arm nerves can be severed or permanently damaged. That may lead to arm paralysis, phantom pain, tingling and numbness.
If you’ve suffered a biker’s arm injury, you should contact an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer. Your lawyer will refer you to a neurosurgeon that can rehabilitate you.
What is Road Rash Injury?
Answer: Road rash is a term that broadly refers to the flesh wounds that motorcyclists may suffer from a collision.
Road rash is a friction-based injury in which a motorcyclist’s skin scrapes along the pavement following a collision impact. A light road rash injury will generate a burning sensation and irritate the skin similar to a sun burn. A severe road rash injury will rip the flesh away from the bone and expose the muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Severe road rash injuries may cause fatal infections if they are not urgently treated.
If you’ve suffered a road rash injury, you should contact an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer. Your lawyer will refer you to a plastic surgeon that can treat your wounds and, if necessary, perform skin grafts.