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Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Georgia

Georgia is a great place to ride a motorcycle. The state often enjoys mild temperatures. It’s understandable why so many bikers get out on the road as often as possible.

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Unfortunately, not every ride ends well. Sometimes, other drivers fail to watch for motorcyclists and end up crashing into them. The aftermath of these accidents, and the injuries they cause, can last for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. The consequences affect bikers, their spouses, and their families.

In Georgia, motorcycle accident victims are entitled to compensation for the serious injuries they sustain. But no one should file a claim on their own. A Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer can help accident victims through the claims process. That gives them the best chance of securing the compensation they need for a full recovery.

Why Motorcycle Accidents are More Complex

Motorcycle accident claims are not like car accident claims. They are much more complex for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Bias against motorcyclists – Most motorcyclists are extremely safe when operating their bikes. However, insurance companies and jurors are often biased against them. Too many people think of bikers as leather-clad outlaws or gang members. They believe that bikers are unnecessarily reckless, even though that is not the case. Additionally, many people think that bikers know the risk of motorcycle use but choose to ride one anyway. Those people believe motorcyclists have no right to compensation for their injuries.
  • Not everyone knows how to operate a motorcycle – Operating a motorcycle is very different from driving a car. Motorcycles are far more susceptible to danger when there is loose gravel or uneven road surfaces. An abrupt stop is much more difficult when a vehicle has only two wheels instead of four. Motorcyclists must always be aware of the other drivers around them. Jurors and insurance companies often do not understand these differences.
  • Severe injuries – Motorcyclists do not have the same protection as individuals in passenger cars. They do not have a seatbelt, airbags, or the protection of a strong metal frame surrounding them. The injuries bikers sustain during a crash are often much worse than those sustained by persons in other vehicles.

Sadly, bikers face these and many other challenges when making a claim. An attorney can help accident victims overcome these issues and secure full compensation.

How a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help Take the Pressure off You

A Georgia motorcycle accident attorney can help with your case and take the pressure off while you recover.

  • Lawyers can collect all the necessary evidence to prove your claim.
  • An attorney can reach out to their extensive network of experts, such as accident reconstruction professionals, that can provide important evidence for a case.
  • Your lawyer will deal with the insurance company for you. An insurance company will try to reduce and deny your claim in order to hold onto more of their profits.
  • Attorneys regularly negotiate with insurance companies, so they can do it very effectively. They know insurance companies try to offer lowball settlements that will not fully cover the cost of the motorcyclist’s damages.

Proving Fault in a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Claim

Injured bikers have the right to claim compensation after a crash. However, they need solid evidence to back up their claims. That evidence includes:

  • Helmet cam footage – Some bikers install a camera on their helmet. That camera can provide important footage of how a crash happened. Other vehicles may also have dash cams that can provide footage of the accident.
  • Eyewitness statements – Bystanders may have seen the crash. While working on your claim, an attorney will contact the eyewitnesses to take their statements. Those statements can be used with both the insurance company and at trial.
  • Photos – Pictures can provide crucial evidence after an accident. An accident reconstruction specialist can use these to help determine how the crash happened. Photos from different angles can include details such as skid marks on the road, traffic signals, and weather conditions.
  • Police report – Police reports may be considered inadmissible during the trial but can be used when negotiating with the insurance company.
  • Medical evidence – To prove the extent of injuries, medical bills, and receipts, reports including a diagnosis and prognosis, pharmacy reports, and other medical documents can be used.

As you recover from your injuries, an attorney can collect this and other evidence that can help your case.

How Much Is Your Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?

How much is a motorcycle accident case worth? Crash victims can use these guidelines to estimate the value of their case.

In Georgia, there are two main types of damages:

  • Special damages, which have a specific value and are easy to calculate
  • General damages, which are less easy to quantify but are losses nonetheless

Special damages include losses such as medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and other financial losses. Special damages are easier to calculate than general damages. However, complications sometimes arise. For example, a biker’s injuries may be so severe that a return to an old job is not possible. The biker may have to take another job that does not pay as much as the former one. When this is the case, an attorney may have to consult with an expert who can calculate these damages.

General damages are often more difficult to calculate. These damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, reduced quality of life, loss of companionship, and disfigurement.

In certain cases, punitive damages may also be available. These damages are meant to compensate the accident victim for extremely reckless behavior, such as drunk driving.

How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?

In Georgia, the statute of limitations sets out the amount of time accident victims have to file their injury claim. When filing a claim for personal injuries after a crash, accident victims must file within two years of the accident. The statute of limitations for property damage claims is four years.

Two years may sound like plenty of time to file your claim. That time will fly by quickly. Prior to filing your claim, an investigation must be conducted to determine who was at fault for the crash. During this investigation, the evidence must also be collected to substantiate the claim. This can take a substantial amount of time. It is important to speak with an attorney right after a crash so the process can start moving forward.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident

After a motorcycle accident, victims should protect their rights by following these important tips:

  • Do not speak to the insurance adjuster. Shortly after the crash, an insurance adjuster will visit you and seem to want to help you with your claim. This adjuster works for the at-fault party’s insurance company. The adjuster’s job is to reduce the amount of compensation an insurer owes you. Do not speak to them but instead, direct them to your lawyer.
  • Do not accept a settlement offer. The insurance adjuster may offer you a settlement. Do not accept this offer. That offer will not cover the cost of your injuries and other losses. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to get you the fair settlement you deserve.
  • Do not sign a medical release. Insurance adjusters often ask accident victims to sign a medical release. They may access those medical records and look for pre-existing conditions or other reasons to cast doubt on what caused the victim’s injuries. You have a right to refuse to sign this document. You should exercise that right.
  • Do not accept blame. Stating that you are sorry the accident happened will be misconstrued as accepting blame for the crash. Do not say anything about the accident to the insurance adjuster.
  • Do not exaggerate the extent of the injuries. If you exaggerate the severity of your injuries, the insurance company could use it to discredit you and your future statements. Be honest while not volunteering more information than you need to.

It is often difficult for accident victims to know exactly what their rights are after a crash. Victims should always speak to an attorney to ensure their rights are upheld.

Understanding Georgia Motorcycle Accident Laws

Georgia has very specific motorcycle laws that all motorcyclists must follow. These include:

  • Motorcyclists must carry a Class M license, which requires that applicants be at least 17 years of age.
  • All motorcycle operators and passengers must wear a motorcycle helmet with a windshield or other eye protection.
  • Everyone on a motorcycle must ride on a permanent and regular motorcycle seat.
  • Passengers must only be carried on a motorcycle designed for two riders.
  • Motorcyclists must not carry a package or object that prevents them from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
  • Bikers must wear proper footwear.
  • Motorcyclists must never operate a motorcycle while it is attached to another vehicle.
  • Motorcyclists must never lane-split, or ride in between lanes of traffic.

Failing to abide by these laws could mean a motorcycle accident victim will receive less than the full and fair amount of compensation.

Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Georgia Now

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, speak to a Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer today. At Cain Injury Law, we understand the difficulties bikers face with their claim, and we also know how to overcome them.

When you are hurt, call us or contact us online to schedule a free case review with one of our attorneys.

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