Although motorcycles offer freedoms that cars are unable to do, they also have unique risks of their own. Other drivers often are not aware of motorcycles as much as they should be and more severe damage can be caused by motorcycle accidents. They also have higher fatality rates compared to auto accidents. If either you or a family member was injured as a result of a motorcycle accident call the personal injury attorneys at Calvin Smith Law. Call us today at (404) 383-7552 to schedule your free consultation with a Macon motorcycle accident attorney.
Table of Contents
Motorcycle Accident Laws in the State of Georgia
Motorcycles have similar responsibilities and rights as the other vehicles that are out on the road. Many motorcycle accidents occur because a rider or anther user of the road break a traffic rule. However, given the specific nature of the motorcycle, that is based on the way that it is built, there are specific laws in Georgia regarding motorcyclist safety. Failing to abide by those rules increases the risk of fatal accidents in Macon, Georgia, particularly in metropolitan areas.
Some of the most important laws that all motorcyclists need to be aware of include the following:
- All motorcyclists need to pass the motorcycle driving and road sign tests and have a Class M drivers’ license.
- All motorcycle riders and passengers are required to wear federally recommended motorcycle safety helmets. Georgia’s state laws require motorcycle drivers to wear protective eyewear as well.
- The taillights and headlights must be illuminated at all times when driving the motorbike including during the day.
- Motorcycles are banned from driving in between lanes and splitting lanes. They are prohibited from overtaking cars that are in the same lane as the vehicle being passed.
All motorcyclists must obey these rules in addition to other traffic laws that are in place whenever driving on Georgia’s roads. This means they need to come to a complete step whenever they are at a stop sign, signal before they turn, not speed, tailgate, or drive recklessly. These reckless actions have caused numerous accidents in Macon and Georgia over the last several years.
Although it might seem trivial to not wear a helmet, this universal law is one that is taken very seriously. If you break the rule, it can harm your chances of being able to obtain compensation if you are in a motorcycle accident. A court may argue your injuries could have been less serious if you had obeyed Georgia’s state laws and adhered to recommended safety measures. It may also be a reason for your driver’s license being suspended or revoked.
Understanding the Comparative Negligence Rule in Georgia
The comparative negligence rule in Georgia is used to establish who is at fault for a car accident. It is a fundamental rule that you need to know when you are looking to file your claim. If there are multiple parties that are found to be responsible for an accident, then the amount of compensation awarded to an injured person will be directly proportional to the liability that they shouldered in the accident.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys at Calvin Smith Law can explain everything you can expect about your case. They can help you understand that becoming injured in a Macon accident will not automatically guarantee that you will be eligible to receive a specific amount of compensation. According to Georgia’s comparative law, if your fault or liability for an accident is less than 50% or you don’t shoulder any blame for the accident, then you are eligible to seek compensation. If you have a greater than 50% responsibility for the accident, then most likely your claim will be rejected.
However, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and damages, depending on how your attorney defends you in court hearings or settlement discussions. This is when your lawyer will attempt to discredit any negligence attributed to you. Your attorney does this by gathering and reviewing the evidence from your accident, including the police reports, your account of what occurred, eyewitness statements, and any relevant medical records.
Your car accident lawyer will use the information that has been gathered to be an informed position to fight effectively for you, either in courtroom hearings or a settlement discussion.
What Should I Do After I Have Been In A Motorcycle Accident?
The main thing you need to avoid after you survive a motorcycle collision is to panic and flee the accident scene. Instead, you should stay there until medical emergency personnel and the police arrive to gather information. While you are there, try to gather as many details as possible that will help to determine who is at fault for the accident. The information you should gather includes the following:
- Names and contact information of all of the drivers, passengers, and possible eyewitnesses
- The driver’s insurance number and license plate number
- The driver’s car make and model
- Photos of the accident, relevant landmarks, and road signs
Avoid admitting any guilt for your accident or talking too much with the party who was at fault. You might not remember or have all of the facts since after the accident you might still be in shock. Also, don’t assume that the injuries you have sustained are minor. Instead, seek immediate treatment and ensure you obtain a medical report of the visit.
Immediately call a personal injury attorney at Calvin Smith Law. Our legal team will investigate the accident and collect all of the necessary evidence to build a strong case for you to ensure you get fair compensation for your injuries and damages. They will review all reports (police and medical), analyze any footage and photos of the accident, and obtain eyewitness testimonies to develop a compelling case when you file your claim for compensation.
What Can I Expect To Receive In Compensation From A Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Wearing approved protective garments, eyewear, and headgear may provide you with some safety but will not be sufficient to protect motorcyclists from a number of injuries in an accident. Drivers of cars have an enclosed space to provide them with additional safety features like airbags and seatbelts to protect them at impact in an accident. This is why it is more likely to come away unharmed, and have less serious injuries than motorcyclists do.
However, all victims of a road accident that is due to the negligence of another party of person are entitled to seek compensation for their losses and injuries. If you were driving a motorcycle and were in an accident that another driver has caused, then you should think about working with an experienced and skilled motorcycle accident attorney. The lawyer will help you obtain the following compensation:
This is compensation that our Calvin Smith Law attorneys will help you obtain to help you cover your medical costs and expenses that you incur throughout your recovery process. This amount will also help cover lost wages that you cannot earn due to not being able to work. Your attorney will file a claim that includes your medical receipts, reports, and records, in addition to your wage and employment records.
Following an accident, financial losses are common; however, you might also be faced with intangible damages due to the physical injuries that you have suffered in the accident. For example, you may be paralyzed, gone into a coma, lost a limb, or been facially disfigured due to a driver’s negligent or reckless actions. You are given the right under law to seek damages for your losses and damages. However, it is not easy to pursue non-economic compensation since quantifying those types of damage is a very complex process. This is why you need to have an experienced and reliable lawyer to handle it on your behalf.
You can also seek punitive damages as well if you think that the party or person who was at fault intended to harm you or their negligence caused the accident that resulted in your losses and life-changing injuries. You will need to have legal experts with the necessary resources to collect enough evidence to build your case so that you receive fair compensation that you deserve.
Calvin Smith Law will pursue a case where we are able to claim one or more of the types of damages that we discussed above. It will depend on the extent and nature of your injuries, losses, and suffering. Remember that we should get the process started before the deadlines of the statute of limitations that are stipulated by Georgia’s state laws.
Who Can I Sue For My Damages, Pain, Or Suffering That I Have Sustained?
If there is a party or person who was at fault for your motorcycle accident, their insurer will be liable to cover your damages and losses. However, you must provide proof of this fault. This is why we recommend you seek out our legal services. Our attorneys will investigate your accident in order to determine who is at fault as well as their degree of fault. If you are partly to blame but you are less than 50% liable for the accident, then Georgia state law allows you to seek compensation for:
- Medical and treatment expenses
- Pain and suffering for your injuries
- Costs of your motorbike repairs
- Lost wages
Under Georgia law, keep in mind that there are specific responsibilities that a motorcyclist must follow including:
- All motorbike riders out on the roads need to have a driver’s license and proper training.
- Riders must drive their motorbikes with their tail and headlights at all times.
- Motorcyclists are not allowed to squeeze in between two vehicles when trying to pass or to split lanes.
- Riders and passengers are all required to wear helmets.
Is It Possible For My Motorcycle Accident Claim To Be Denied And Why?
We do not advise you to try to take on insurance companies on your own while seeking compensation. They will work hard to try to discredit your claim due to not wanting to pay out any amount of compensation. This is why they will begin to deny your claim so that you cannot obtain compensation.
Some people won’t appeal or seek help from a lawyer. Others will choose to settle for a minimum amount of settlement that is offered by the insurers following the initial denial. The following are some of the most important reasons why insurers may deny your motorcycle accident claim:
- The insurance company doesn’t believe that the accident was the cause of the injury or that you were hurt.
- The driver who was at fault was not insured under the proper insurance policy.
- The insurer thinks that you are the one to blame for your accident.
- The insurance policy is void since it was canceled or lapsed.
When you contact our law offices, our Macon motorcycle accident attorneys can help guide you on what to do when you are filing your claim. The lawyer will get in contact with an insurance adjuster to negotiate a settlement. If your claim is disapproved by the adjuster, then your attorney will file a lawsuit to have your case taken to trial in court.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer?
In order to have the best chance of obtaining the maximum amount of compensation, then you should consider getting an experienced lawyer to represent you. Treating and your injuries and having your bike repaired can be large expenses that you should not have to pay for when someone else is liable for your losses.
It is stated in Georgia State Code Section 51-11-7 that the accused still can recover a percentage of damages even if they are partially to blame for their accident. The amount that is awarded to the accused and may be reduced based on her or his percentage of fault. You should still seek compensation even if you believe you contributed to the accident. Speak to our lawyers to find out whether or not it is worth it to pursue your case.
Your initial consultation with Calvin Smith Law is free and you can discuss your case with very experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. When you trust us to represent your best interest, then we will take the process over. We will handle the settlement negotiation with the insurer and file a lawsuit if necessary.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Compared to the typical car accident, a motorbike accident is quite different. Your insurance company may assume you are at fault. Your accident can have a traumatic effect on your life. Your injuries go well beyond the physical. You may suffer a head injury that can result in mental damages. Or you can sustain a back or neck injury that can result in permanent or temporary paralysis.
We at Calvin Smith Law, are one of the most highly distinguished and established law firms in Macon. We have an entire team of knowledgeable and experienced legal experts that can help determine the necessary company resources and expertise to help you take on the insurance company and recover your damages and losses.
We will help to ensure you obtain the right medical care and treatment for our injuries. Allow us to deal with your legal battles for you so that you can focus on your healing. Contact our law office and speak to one of our legal experts to learn how we can help you.
Contact a Macon Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
You can sue for your damages and losses if the other driver was responsible for the accident. If you are searching for the best legal representation when filing your motorcycle accident claim, call our law offices now. Calvin Smith Law is committed to helping people obtain maximum compensation for their damages and losses. We do not charge fees for our legal services when assisting you with your property damage claim. This means you will obtain the full settlement award for your claim. Contact us today at (404) 383-7552.