Johns Creek Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Serving Johns Creek Injured Victims
Few modes of transportation are more exhilarating than riding a motorcycle. However, your lack of protection in a collision can lead to serious, disfiguring injuries if not death, even in low-speed impacts. About 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in injuries as compared to just 20% for passenger vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Riding a motorcycle also increases your risk of being in a fatal accident by 29 times over that of driving or being a passenger in other motor vehicles.
Although obeying the traffic laws and those statutes pertaining specifically to riders can reduce accidents and injuries significantly, you are still at the mercy of negligent drivers. Increase your chances at obtaining reasonable compensation if you were involved in a motorcycle accident by retaining an experienced Johns Creek motorcycle accident lawyer.
Laws Impacting Motorcyclists
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-315, all motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet that complies with certain standards. Wearing a helmet significantly reduces your risk of sustaining a serious head injury by 69% and the risk of death by 42%. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to reduce fatalities. Although you protect yourself by wearing a helmet, you are still at considerable risk because of the negligence of other motorists. Many drivers in motorcycle accidents report that they simply did not see the cyclist or misjudged their distance and speed when turning in front of them.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-312, lane splitting, or lane filtering, is illegal in Georgia with California the only state that allows the practice. This occurs when a motorcyclist strides the white line dividing traffic lanes so that the rider can navigate congested traffic. It is also illegal to pass vehicles in the same lane that the vehicle being overtaken is in.
You are always required to have your headlights and taillights illuminated or on, regardless of the time of day, under O.C.G.A. OCGA § 40-6-310 through 40-310-316. This is to at least to make the rider and motorcycle more visible to other motorists to some degree.
You can take precautions in protecting yourself in case of an accident or in preventing one in the first place by following these suggestions:
- Take a rider safety course before getting your motorcycle license. These courses educate you on the motorcycle laws affecting you, on how to service and maintain your bike, and instruct you on how to maneuver and navigate in certain situations.
- Wear protective clothing. A full helmet, leather boots, jacket, gloves, and eyewear are essential. Wearing a t-shirt and shorts exposes you to extremely painful burns, cuts, and scarring in case you fall off or are ejected in an accident.
- Get experience on the roads before taking a long trip, getting on the interstate, or riding at night. Practice on the roads near your residence during low traffic times to familiarize yourself with road oddities or idiosyncrasies that affect motorcyclists far more than other vehicles. Get on the freeway for short distances to experience how different it is from riding on rural roads or in town.
- Never drink before riding. Even a simple misjudgment or error that may be overlooked by a regular motorist who had a drink or two can lead to disaster for a rider.
- Wait for at least 30-minutes after rainfall before riding.
- Ride defensively and never assume other motorists have seen you.
Factors Causing Motorcycle Accidents
Despite taking all necessary precautions, riders are still vulnerable to reckless and inattentive motorists.
The most common factors leading to motorcycle accidents include:
- Left turns at intersections
- Unsafe lane changes by motorists
- Failure to see motorcyclist when entering a roadway from side road or driveway
- Adverse weather
- Roadway defects or obstacles
- Failure to maintain a proper distance
- Rear-end accidents at stop lights and stop signs
- Motorcycle design and manufacturing defects (fuel system leaks)
- Poor service or inadequate maintenance
- Alcohol or drug impairment by rider or motorist
An investigation of any motorcycle accident is necessary since there may be multiple factors involved. Call a Johns Creek personal injury attorney to handle your case rather than trying to negotiate a settlement on your own. The overwhelming majority of claimants who retain experienced attorneys obtain far more compensation than those who do not, even accounting for attorneys’ fees.
Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders are often at a disadvantage if they are injured in an accident simply because of perception. It generally takes an investigation of the accident scene, inspection of the motorcycle and sometimes the motor vehicle, and possibly the retention of a motorcycle accident reconstruction expert to convince a jury that the motorist or some other factor was the primary cause of the accident.
Clues such as skid marks or debris can indicate that the motorist was driving at a high rate of speed. Road obstructions such as overgrown vegetation, the lack of signage or its obscurity, or a roadway hazard that should have been removed by the county or entity responsible for road maintenance can be revealed and lead to additional sources of compensation.
If the city, county or state was responsible for the inadequate maintenance, then you must follow Georgia’s tort claim act pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-21-24. This statute allows for claims against the state or political subdivision for acts or omissions by its employees acting within the scope of his/her duties. Appropriate Notice as defined in O.C.G.A. § 50-21-26 must be given within 12-months of the accident to the appropriate agency. Damages sought under the act may be obtained for up to $1 million per person.
If your accident involved a defect in the bike’s design or manufacture, then your attorney may pursue a product liability case. These are particularly complex and requires a products liability attorney with extensive experience and knowledge in this area. A
Damages in Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims
Damages in any personal injury claim are often challenged by insurance adjusters and defense attorneys. Your attorney must prove that the accident was the cause of your injuries and were not due to a preexisting condition or some other incident. By requesting medical records, bills, reports from treating physicians, employment and school records, and any documentation regarding road conditions and vehicle inspections if necessary, as well as witness statements, your attorney can better explain the nature and extent of your injuries and how they have affected you and your family.
Damages often include:
- Past and present medical expenses
- Past and present income loss
- Lost earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Tobin Injury Law – Your Johns Creek Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You want a highly experienced and knowledgeable Johns Creek motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. With a reputable and skilled attorney in your corner, you will have the best opportunity to obtain the most compensation for your claim. Let Darren Tobin and his legal team at Tobin Injury Law take care of the complicated paperwork and deal with deadlines and insurance companies. You need to focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track. Don’t delay, contact our offices today to schedule your free, confidential consultation as soon as possible. We are available to you 24/7. Call (678) 566-4006, email us, or fill out the contact form below.