When an automobile crashes into a motorcycle from behind, if the motorcyclist survives, his or her injuries will probably be catastrophic and life-altering.
What are the most likely injuries that a motorcyclist will suffer in such a scenario? And what is a motorcyclist’s recourse in Georgia if he or she is injured by a negligent driver?
Those questions are about to be answered, but the first thing you must know is that if you are a motorcyclist in Georgia, and you are injured by a negligent driver, you must take your case to a trustworthy and experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
What Injuries Are Commonly Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists who are hit from behind often sustain traumatic brain injuries – even if they use helmets – and severe spinal cord injuries, whiplash, lacerations, multiple bone fractures, paralysis, and injuries that require amputation.
It’s not unusual for the injuries sustained in motorcycling accidents to be permanently disabling.
Any blow to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury, and even the best motorcycle helmet cannot offer absolute protection in a high-impact collision. Yes, helmets are imperative, and they save many lives, but they cannot prevent every head injury.
When an automobile hits a motorcycle from the rear, the motorcyclist can in effect be ejected into the air, and even with a helmet, if that motorcyclist lands head first on pavement, a sidewalk, or a vehicle, a severe brain injury or a fatality is almost certain.
What is Required for Someone With a Severe Brain Injury?
A severe traumatic brain injury requires life-long care and treatment. Memory, motor skills, emotions, vision, hearing, and sleep patterns may all be disrupted. Multiple surgeries may be required along with extensive therapy and rehabilitation.
If you are injured by another driver’s negligence in this state, you are entitled to complete compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and any other accident-related losses and damages.
But if you need to be compensated for a lifetime of medical treatment and lost wages, you will need the maximum amount of compensation that is available, and you’ll also need a skilled personal injury attorney who knows how to fight for and win that amount on your behalf.
What About Back and Spinal Cord Injuries?
Blows to the head and traumatic brain injuries are frequently sustained in motorcycle crashes, but back and spinal cord injuries can be just as catastrophic and devastating.
When a negligent driver hits a motorcycle, and the motorcyclist goes airborne and lands on his or her back, paralysis or a severed spinal cord is likely, and the few motorcyclists who survive such an incident will require substantial medical care – and substantial compensation.
Why Are Rear-end Motorcycle Collisions So Dangerous?
The reason why a rear-end collision into a motorcycle is so devastating is simple. The motorcyclist is usually tossed into the air, so instead of suffering a single collision-and-impact, a motorcyclist in these accidents experiences two distinct collisions and impacts.
Obviously, motorcyclists lack most of the protections that other vehicles’ occupants have. A helmet, leather jacket, gloves, and boots can offer some protection, and in fact, they are imperative, but they are no substitute for an automobile with airbags and safety belts.
Any collision – from any direction – can be catastrophic for a motorcyclist.
What Makes Motorcycle Collisions Complicated Legally?
Motorcycle crashes can also be legally complicated. Motorcycle crashes leave less physical evidence than automobile crashes. There may be no witnesses. A police accident report may be inaccurate or incomplete.
If you are injured by a negligent driver while you are motorcycling in Georgia, you must be represented by an accident attorney who has considerable experience handling cases that involve motorcycle accidents resulting in traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
A skilled personal injury attorney will work closely with your doctor and other medical experts to determine your medical needs and to fight for the resources you will have to have to make that medical care possible.
What Can Motorcyclists Do to Enhance Their Safety?
Most motorcyclists are familiar with the standard motorcycling safety tips: avoid a car’s blind spots, watch for drivers making blind turns, and keep plenty of distance between yourself and the nearest automobile.
The problem is that there is not a lot you can do to prevent a rear-end collision. Make certain that all of the lights on your motorcycle are working properly and be sure that you always wear the standard safety gear – boots, jacket, helmet, and gloves – when motorcycling.
If you see a driver who is impaired or driving erratically, do not let that driver get behind you.
If an accident happens, and if you not completely incapacitated, summon medical attention and the police immediately.
If you are able to, take photos, or have someone take them for you. Find out how you will be able to obtain a copy of the police accident report. Of course, if you are able to, you must exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
As soon as your doctor releases you, reach out to a personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights and options – which may include a personal injury lawsuit.
It won’t cost you anything to learn more about your case. Most accident lawyers in Georgia will review your case and provide an initial consultation for no cost and no obligation.
If you choose to take legal action, you’ll pay no attorney’s fee until your attorney obtains a settlement or a verdict on your behalf.
How Quickly Do Injury Victims Need to Act?
Georgia’s statute of limitations gives the injured victims of negligent drivers two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. After two years, the courts will not consider your lawsuit.
But you can’t wait two years and then scramble to file a lawsuit at the last minute. Don’t even wait two weeks. It’s important to put a personal injury lawyer on the case as quickly as possible.
Don’t accept any quick settlement offer. In fact, don’t make any statement at all to an insurance company after you’ve informed your own insurance company that an accident has happened.
With your future at stake, let your injury attorney – a qualified negotiator – do all of the talking and negotiating on your behalf. Your attorney will settle for nothing less than the full compensation amount you deserve.
Why Should You Take Legal Action?
If you are disabled because another driver was negligent while you were motorcycling, that is a tragedy.
Nothing, of course, can change the past, but with the help of a professional Georgia accident attorney, you may be able to obtain the resources that can help you move positively and constructively into the future.
It’s your future, and having sound legal advice is your right. If you need that advice, make the call, and get the legal help you need right now.
For over 15 years, Mr. Spaulding has helped victims of negligence across the state of Georgia resolve personal injury disputes, and he’s received a remarkable number of awards and honors from the legal community recognizing his commitment to clients and to the metro-Atlanta area.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Spaulding belonged to the Phi Beta Kappa honors fraternity at the University of Georgia, and he obtained his legal training at the Georgia State College of Law, where he clerked for the Honorable Judge Rowland Barnes of the Fulton County Superior Court. Mr. Spaulding has also worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta Enforcement Division. Since 2005, he has dedicated his career to helping the injured victims of negligence and their loved ones win justice in Georgia’s personal injury courts.