What do you think of when you hear the word “motorcycle?”
- Death sentence?
- Joy ride?
While we don’t speak for all riders, we want to focus on the bad behavior and decisions cyclists can make when driving. There are several riders who are extremely cautious and go to great lengths to ride safely. However, others throw caution to the wind and drive recklessly. Reckless behavior in the state of Georgia includes wheelies, burnouts, racing, and other “bad” behavior.
Laying Drags Is Against the Law in Georgia
Georgia outlaws various types of reckless motorcycle driving. One of which is laying drags. Laying drags is a misdemeanor in the State of Georgia. The law (O.C.G.A § 40-6-251) states:
- No driver of any motor vehicle shall operate the vehicle upon the public streets, highways, public or private driveways, airport runways, or parking lots in such a manner as to create a danger to persons or property by intentionally and unnecessarily causing the vehicle to move in a zigzag or circular course or to gyrate or spin around, except to avoid a collision or injury or damage.
- The offenses described in this Code section shall be sufficiently identified on any traffic ticket, warrant, accusation, or indictment when referred to as “laying drags.”
- This Code section does not apply to drivers operating vehicles in or on any raceway, drag strip, or similar place customarily and lawfully used for such purposes.
- Any person violating subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
It is important to note the term “laying drags” only applies to evidence of a vehicle moving in a zigzag pattern to spin around. A straight “burnout” is not considered laying drags – and therefore, you can be charged with reckless driving for doing a burnout. In addition to burnouts, if you are caught performing wheelies or stoppies – these may also fall under reckless driving, and you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
Penalties for these misdemeanors may include fines and jail time. The extent of these penalties varies based on the severity of the violation.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
Injuries You Could Suffer in a Motorcycle Accident
Driving a motorcycle recklessly increases your risk of suffering serious injuries in an accident. Such injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Contusions and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Organ damage
Sometimes, these injuries can be fatal. Make sure you take proper precautions, like wearing a helmet and protective eye gear, and drive according to the rules of the road while you’re on your motorcycle.
You Could Recover Damage If You Were Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident
The injuries you suffer in a motorcycle accident can lead to high medical bills and other associated expenses. You may not have to cover these costs on your own, though. If you file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the other party involved in your accident, you could recover damages for:
- Past and expected medical care costs: For your ambulance ride, lab work and imaging tests, pain medications, surgeries, assistive medical devices, and follow-up appointments
- Past lost wages: For the income you couldn’t earn since you had to stay home and tend to your injuries
- Reduced earning power: For the change in your work capacity if your injuries keep you from returning to work long term
- Property damage expenses: For the repair or replacement costs for your motorcycle
- Pain and suffering: For the discomfort and inconvenience stemming from your injuries
- Disfigurement: For the changes in your appearance and mobility
- Mental anguish: For the mental and emotional turmoil you experienced after the motorcycle accident
If you have lost a loved one to a motorcycle accident, you may have the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. Some damages you can recover include funeral and burial expenses, final medical care costs, loss of inheritance, and/or loss of consortium.
Your Percentage of Fault May Reduce Your Total Damages
Georgia enforces the contributory negligence law. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, you can still recover damages even if you hold partial blame for the accident. Consider the example below:
Suppose you were doing wheelies down the road, but a motorist had to yield to you since you had the green light. However, they failed to yield and struck you. In that case, the insurance companies and the attorneys may place 70% of the fault on the driver and 30% on you.
If you were entitled to collect $100,000, you would instead recover $70,000. Keep in mind, however, that if you hold more than 50% of the fault, the state will bar you from collecting damages.
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Connect with Kaine Law If You Were Involved in a Georgia Motorcycle Accident
Driving a motorcycle has its own risks, but adding reckless behavior only creates a greater chance of hurting yourself and others. The above discussion is just a glimpse into some of the repercussions a rider can face when driving recklessly.
For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law. Our number is (404) 214-2001. Our team will provide you with a free consultation when you call, and we won’t charge any attorney’s fees unless we obtain a settlement or court award for you.