Motorcycle accidents often look very different from crashes that involve only cars. The small profile of a motorcycle, plus its lack of a protective frame around the rider, means that bikers are far more susceptible to serious and fatal injuries than other motorists.
In fact, motorcyclists accounted for more than 10 percent of Georgia’s traffic fatalities in one recent year, despite the fact that motorcycles represent only about 3 percent of registered vehicles in the U.S.
Motorcyclists who are injured in accidents often face a difficult task when seeking compensation from the at-fault party. Insurers will frequently try to blame the biker for the accident. They play on the unfair prejudice that bikers are reckless and dangerous, despite the fact that most motorcyclists are conscientious riders. It’s also common for motorcycle wrecks to cause serious injuries, which makes resulting claims particularly high stakes.
When it comes time to pursue a motorcycle accident claim, remember that you only get one chance. Make it count. Talk to the Roswell injury lawyers at Butler Kahn for free and find out how we can use our experience and resources to pursue the compensation you need.
Do You Have a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
The best way to determine whether you’re eligible to seek damages for a motorcycle accident is to talk to an attorney. However, a few key elements can give you an idea of whether you may have a worthwhile motorcycle accident claim.
The first is the presence of bodily harm or injury. If you suffered significant harm as a result of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation that covers costs related to the treatment of your injuries.
The second element is liability, or the question of who is at fault for the accident. If you were not at fault or only partially at fault for your accident, you may have a claim.
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents More Complicated?
There are several unique factors in any motorcycle crash that make resulting insurance claims and lawsuits more complicated. For example:
- Widespread stereotypes of motorcycle riders and culture – Many people with little exposure to actual motorcycle riders have unfairly prejudicial opinions. Some picture all bikers as dangerous outlaws or gang members and allow this bias to affect their judgment when determining settlements or jury verdicts.
- Lack of knowledge about motorcycles and how they are driven – Reacting safely while riding a motorcycle looks very different from how it does while driving a car. Most people are not familiar with these distinctions. People who don’t understand the basics of operating a motorcycle may assign unreasonable blame to an accident victim who happened to be riding one.
- Relative lack of protection compared to a car – When cars crash, occupants are shielded by seat belts, air bags, and the steel frames of their cars. Motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable. They are often thrown from their bikes in an accident, suffering greater injuries and risk of death. When injuries are extensive, they cost a lot to treat, and the value of a case can skyrocket. When the stakes are high, at-fault parties often do whatever they can to duck liability.
How Our Roswell Motorcycle Lawyer Can Take the Pressure off You
At Butler Kahn, our goal is to help accident victims and their families regain control of their lives. If you decide that hiring a Roswell motorcycle accident lawyer is the right choice, our skilled attorneys can help you by:
- Reviewing and investigating all aspects of the crash
- Analyzing how the law applies to your case
- Assisting with the collection of evidence to prove liability
- Organizing and managing your important documents
- Communicating with other parties on your behalf
- Obtaining vital records from your healthcare providers
- Negotiating for settlements with insurance companies
- Representing you in court if a settlement can’t be reached
How Is Fault Determined for a Motorcycle Wreck?
Successful accident injury claims are built on strong evidence. In Georgia, you’re able to recover damages for your accident as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault. The following types of evidence can help you prove fault on the part of the other driver in your motorcycle injury case:
- Police reports, which contain crash information and relevant citations
- Electronic control modules (“ECMs”), which record speed, pedal inputs, and steering inputs in most modern vehicles
- Statements from drivers, passengers, and other witnesses
- Pictures or video footage of the accident scene
- Medical records and related treatment expenses
- Pay stubs or other indicators of lost wages
- Expert witnesses who provide professional testimony
- Physical evidence such as your motorcycle, your helmet, skid marks, brake marks, or the other vehicle involved in the accident
What Compensation Can Be Recovered After a Crash?
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries with lasting consequences. Bike riders who have been injured in a motorcycle accident commonly seek compensation for resulting costs such as:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages from being unable to work
- Diminished future earnings from disability
- Pain and suffering from injuries or emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium or quality of life
- Property damage for destroyed vehicles or objects
- Punitive damages to punish the party at fault
What You Need to Know About Georgia Motorcycle Laws
All drivers are expected to obey the rules of the road, and motorcycle riders in Georgia have special provisions that don’t apply to drivers of larger vehicles. Some of the most important laws for Georgia motorcyclists require riders to:
- Wear a helmet approved for use by the Department of Transportation
- Use a windshield or other eye protection while riding
- Refrain from carrying more people than the bike was designed to hold
- Use proper seats, mirrors, turn signals, taillights, and mufflers
- Pass a motorcycle license test and have a Class M license designation
- Refrain from lane splitting, or driving between lanes of traffic
- Refrain from driving more than two abreast in a single lane
- Refrain from overtaking and passing cars within the same lane
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accident Claims
Georgia law includes two important time limits to consider when filing a motorcycle accident claim. The first is the statute of limitations, or time limit, which applies to personal injury and wrongful death claims. Personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the accident.
The second is the statute of limitations that applies to personal property damage. If your motorcycle or other personal property was damaged or destroyed in an accident, you have four years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit for the resulting damage.
Tips for Protecting Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Roswell
When you’re facing a potential motorcycle accident claim, it’s essential to be aware of your actions and how they might affect any future settlements. Some simple precautions any motorcycle injury victim can take to protect their rights include:
- Seeking immediate medical attention
- Documenting and reporting details of the accident
- Obtaining contact information from witnesses
- Taking pictures of resulting injuries and damage
- Discussing details of the case with a lawyer
Get Help from a Roswell Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Now
If you have suffered serious injuries in a Roswell motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, the personal injury lawyers of Butler Kahn are here to help. Our firm accepts only a limited number of cases each year, which means we’re able to focus on each client we represent and devote our time to the hard work it takes to win.
At Butler Kahn, our award-winning team has a history of successful results, and we take pride in the care we apply to every client’s case. It’s important to us to make a difference in the lives of those we represent.
Please contact us when you’re ready to discuss your situation. Talking to us is free and comes with no further obligations on your part.