According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), most motorcycle accidents occur at left-turn intersections in urban areas, with 41% of all collisions caused by passenger vehicle drivers failing to see riders. Due to the limited protection available, motorcyclists are at higher risk of being seriously injured or worse if they are involved in an accident with another motorist, many of which stem from driver negligence.
When you know where most motorcycle crashes happen, you can take steps to prevent them. An Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your losses.
Claiming Compensation For Your Injuries When a Motorcycle Accident Occurs
If you suffered injuries as a rider in Georgia and the other driver is responsible, you will most likely be able to recover compensation for your financial damages. However, to be successful in your claim, you will need to show how the other driver was at fault. This is known in legal terms as proving negligence. Negligence means the other motorist did (or failed to do) something they should have to drive safely.
The NHTSA reports that over 90% of all road traffic accidents are caused at least in part by human error or driver negligence, and typical examples include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving or using in-car tech
- Reckless driving, including speeding or ignoring traffic controls and signals
- Driving while fatigued
- Poor driver observation
Let’s take the leading cause of many motorcycle accidents as an example: accidents at intersections. Vehicles waiting to turn left across the path of traffic are a concern for oncoming motorcyclists. If the driver took the opportunity to check their phone rather than concentrate on their surroundings or disregarded a stop sign, they would likely be at fault if their actions caused an accident. The challenging part is proving what happened, but more about that later.
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Types of Damages You Can Seek When a Motorcycle Accident Occurs
Many factors can influence the financial damages you could recover if you suffered injuries as a motorcyclist in Georgia. To fully evaluate your losses, we will need to consider how your injuries affect your home life and ability to work now and in the future, assessing the current and anticipated costs related to:
- Medical bills, surgeries, and hospital stays
- Treatment and rehabilitation costs, such as physiotherapy or counseling
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- The cost of any ongoing care or home adaptations
- Lost or damaged property
If the accident was fatal, surviving families may be able to recover compensation from a negligent party in lieu of funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, lost wages, medical bills, and more.
How Do I Prove The Other Driver Caused My Motorcycle Accident?
To be successful in your case, you or your lawyer will need to prove the following elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
Every motorist has a duty of care to adhere to the rules of the road and take reasonable care to avoid causing damage to others while driving.
Breach of Duty
Road users who fail to meet the necessary standards of care, such as ignoring the speed limit or drunk driving, and cause injury to others may be financially liable. Typical examples include any violation of traffic law or other negligent acts, such as:
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to use turn signals, especially on left-hand turns
- Driving too fast for current road conditions
- Engaging in distracted driving
A motorcycle accident attorney can investigate the crash and determine the liable parties.
This refers to demonstrating how the accident has caused your injuries. Police accident reports, medical reports, photographs from the accident scene, witness statements, CCTV or dash cam footage, and other sources of evidence can be used to prove causation.
Proving your actionable personal damages is the final stage in this part of the process. Again, our legal team would use evidence to show proof of your emotional, physical, and financial losses caused by the other driver’s negligence. If you lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle crash, a wrongful death lawyer can seek awards to help your family cope in your loved one’s absence.
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How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Motorcycle Accident Occurs?
In Georgia, injured parties generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit per O.C.G.A § 9-3-33. While this may seem like a considerable time, it is beneficial to act sooner rather than later. Allow enough time to build a strong case and gather and preserve evidence before it is lost, forgotten, or destroyed.
The sooner you begin your motorcycle accident case, the better. It takes time to collect evidence and negotiate with an insurance company. These processes do not stall the legal deadline, though.
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Learn About Your Legal Options After a Motorcycle Accident Occurs
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, we could help you determine your legal options during a free consultation. With multiple decades of experience in helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve and a reputation for hard work that gets results, we are here to help you, too.