Athens, Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
There are few sensations as freeing as riding a motorcycle on the open road on a warm day. Unlike riding in a car, there is no separation between you and the outside world when you are riding a motorcycle. This is what makes motorcycling so freeing – and so dangerous.
That separation between you and the outside world, the car’s metal chassis, can play a huge role in protecting you from injury in a collision. It cannot prevent an injury, but it can reduce your chance of being injured and when you are injured, it can reduce the severity of the injury. On a motorcycle, contact between a rider’s head and the pavement is exactly that: a head on the pavement and the severe injuries that can result from this type of direct blow. In a motorcycle accident, the motorcyclist often faces the highest risk of being severely injured or killed out of all the parties involved.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you can potentially recover monetary compensation for the damages you suffer through a personal injury claim. Below is valuable information you can use to help yourself understand motorcycle accidents and if you are injured in one, work toward an appropriate personal injury settlement to cover your damages.
Differences Between Motorcycle Accidents and Car Accidents
In addition to the lack of a metal chassis, there are other ways a motorcycle is different from other types of vehicle. Perhaps the most obvious is that it has two wheels instead of four, which means the rider has to balance it him- or herself. This balance difference makes motorcycles more sensitive to irregularities and debris in the roadway, making motorcycle accidents more likely to happen on wet, icy, and debris-covered roadways as well as those with potholes. Additionally, motorcyclists are more likely to crash and fall on steep and sharp roadways.
These sensitivities make it more likely for a poorly maintained or poorly designed roadway to cause a motorcycle accident than they are to cause a car accident. In addition to environmental factors, human negligence can also cause motorcycle accidents. These errors can be the motorcyclist’s fault or a motorists’ fault, and include:
- Drunk driving;
- Distracted driving;
- Aggressive driving;
- Drowsy driving;
- Poor vehicle maintenance; and
- Disregard for posted traffic rules.
Additionally, a motorcycle accident can be the result of a vehicle malfunction on the part of one or more of the vehicles involved.
The party whose negligence causes a motorcycle accident is liable for the victims’ damages. If this party was the malfunctioning vehicle’s manufacturer, the manufacturer is liable for all victims’ damages. If an accident occurred because of a poorly maintained roadway, the victims may file their claims with the private or government entity charged with maintaining the area of the road where the accident occurred.
Ways you Can be Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
There are many ways you can be injured in a motorcycle accident. These include:
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Burns; and
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Stop your vehicle and if possible, take it off the roadway and into a safe area to avoid disrupting traffic. Check on all other parties involved in the collision. If anybody, including you, needs emergency medical care, call 911 to have an ambulance dispatched to the scene. Otherwise, remain with your vehicle and call the local police.
In the moments following the accident, take as many photos as you can to completely document the scene. These include photos of your injury, photos of the damage suffered by each vehicle, and photos that set the scene and show the trajectory of the accident through skids on the asphalt. Talk to the other parties involved and exchange insurance and contact information with them. If there were witnesses to the accident, take down their contact information as well. Do not leave the scene without a copy of the official police report.
After filling out a police report with the officer tending to the scene, seek medical attention for yourself as soon as possible.
Pursuing Compensation for your Motorcycle Accident Damages
As we mentioned above, the negligent party is liable for the victims’ damages. Negligence, failure to act within one’s duty to protect others from harm through careless or reckless behavior, and liability, the negligent party’s responsibility to pay for all the damages he or she causes through negligence, are intertwined, critical parts of personal injury law.
Through a personal injury claim, you can pursue compensation for:
- Your medical bills;
- Your lost wages; and
- Your pain and suffering damages
As an injured victim, your claim must demonstrate how your accident was the direct result of another party’s negligence. This is where the photographs, eyewitness testimonies, and official accident report you collected at the accident scene come into play. They are evidence you can use to support your claim. You will also need to provide evidence that demonstrates the financial damages you suffered, such as your medical bills, documentation of your lost wages, and evidence to support your claim for pain and suffering damages.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. Your lawyer can explain to you if a different limit applies to your case. If you cannot reach an appropriate settlement with the negligent party’s insurance provider, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Work with an Experienced Athens Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for your related damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about your rights as an injured victim, the personal injury claim process, and how you can proceed with your claim, contact our team of experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. today to set up your initial legal consultation with us.