Motorcycle Traffic Collision Personal Injury Lawyer in Georgia
Riding a motorcycle is an exciting way to travel the roads of Georgia. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are at serious risk for catastrophic injuries when they have an accident. Motorcycles are especially vulnerable to accidents because of their comparatively small size. A rider can be lost in the blind spot of an inattentive driver who changes lanes without signaling. That motorist’s error can quickly lead to life-altering or even fatal consequences for the motorcyclist.
At Spaulding Injury Law, our Georgia motorcycle accident attorneys fight to protect the rights of motorcycle riders who are injured on the roads of Georgia through no fault of their own. Our team has our more than 25 years of combined legal experience. We strive to deliver the best results for our clients. We have successfully helped injured victims recover millions in compensation from negligent motorists.
Our attorneys have a proven track record of success. We are proud of the awards and accolades we have earned.
- Attorney Theodore Spaulding has been included on the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40 list. Those lists are published by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
- Spaulding is a charter member and Mr. Hayes is a lifetime charter member of the Distinguished Justice Advocates. That organization recognizes the excellence of the top one half of the top one percent of attorneys in the United States.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Georgia through no fault of your own, contact the Georgia motorcycle crash lawyers of Spaulding Injury Law today. We can schedule a free consultation with our legal team to discuss your case. You can learn more about your rights and options to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
How Can a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me?
After you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder how you will get the compensation you need for your injuries and damages. An experienced Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer can help you maximize the financial recovery of your claim by:
- Thoroughly investigating your accident to determine how your crash occurred. That investigation will show who was at fault for your accident. The investigation will also show what insurance or other financial resources are available to compensate you for your injuries.
- Negotiating with the at-fault parties and insurance companies to get you full and fair compensation.
- Preparing your case for trial, if necessary, to ensure that you have the best chance of receiving the financial recovery you deserve.
To learn more about how our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers can help you with your case, contact Spaulding Injury Law today.
What Damages Can I Expect to Recover from a Georgia Motorcycle Collision Claim?
When you’ve been in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to be compensated for the damages you sustained. Damages in a motorcycle collision may include:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, prescription medication, physical rehab, medical equipment, and long-term care
- Lost income, for the time that you miss from work while you recover from your injuries
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job
- Pain and suffering, or the anguish and distress caused by your injuries
- Lost quality of life, including permanent disfigurements or disabilities
- Property damage
The exact amount of compensation you will recover will depend on several factors, including:
- The specific amount of damages you’ve incurred
- The amount of insurance coverage available
- The strength of your legal case
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?
Were you involved in a motorcycle accident? Is so, you have limited time to file a lawsuit over the personal injuries or property damage the accident caused. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Under Georgia law, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years from the date of your accident. A claim for property damage must be filed within four years of the accident.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations passes, the court can permanently dismiss your case. However, the statute of limitations may be paused, or “tolled,” under certain circumstances. For example, the limitations period is tolled if a rider is injured in a hit and run accident and does not initially know the identity of the at-fault driver. Also, if an injured victim of a motorcycle accident is a minor, the limitations period does not begin to run until the minor turns 18 years old.
If you are in a motorcycle accident and have a claim against a government entity, you must provide the government with notice of your claim. This notice period is usually shorter than the statute of limitations.
- Cities and towns in Georgia typically must receive notice of a claim within six months of the accident.
- The state government must receive notice within 12 months of your accident.
- The federal government must receive notice within two years of your accident.
If you don’t provide those government bodies with timely notice of your claim – and you don’t have good reason for filing the late notice – the claim may be permanently lost.
What Kind of Cases Do Our Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Handle?
Many possible factors can cause a motorcycle accident besides the rider’s actions. Here are a few examples of common causes of motorcycle crashes:
- Negligent drivers – Motorcycle riders can be easily affected by the careless actions of other drivers.
- Motorcycle defects – Defective tires, brakes, or other mechanical parts may cause a crash. In those cases, the bike manufacturer or a mechanic may be responsible.
- Defective and dangerous roadways – The state may be found responsible if dangerous road conditions caused the accident.
An accomplished attorney can conduct investigations, examine evidence and reconstruct the accident scene to determine which party was responsible for the crash. Determining this can take time and a great deal of effort. In fact, it may be difficult to accomplish without a lawyer’s help, especially when you are still recovering from the accident.
How Are Motorcycle Traffic Collisions Different from Car Accidents?
In Georgia, car accidents and motorcycle accidents are both common, but the rider of a motorcycle is much more susceptible to bodily harm than the driver of a car. Cars have metal, plastic, and fiberglass that can protect their drivers. Motorcyclists have nothing to protect them but a helmet.
Cars and trucks also have safety features, such as seat belts and airbags, which are not present on motorcycles. As a result, a motorcycle rider tends to suffer far more severe injuries in an accident than an occupant of a car or truck. These motorcyclist’s injuries can involve a long recovery and lost income when time at work is missed.
Pursuing compensation in a motorcycle accident can be much more difficult due to the biases and stereotypes that people have against motorcycle riders. When a driver collides with a motorcycle, the driver may try to shift blame for the accident onto the rider, claiming that the rider was speeding, weaving through traffic, or otherwise behaving recklessly. A motorcycle rider seeking compensation for an accident may need to overcome these biases when proving the other driver was at fault.
Understanding Georgia Motorcycle Laws
Georgia law imposes several safety requirements on motorcycle riders and the motorcycle’s equipment:
- All riders must wear a helmet and eye protection approved by the commissioner of motor vehicle safety.
- Windshields are required unless all riders are wearing eye protection.
- Handlebar length must not exceed 15 inches above the seat.
- All riders on a motorcycle must have a regular and permanent seat.
- Motorcycles must have a right and/or left mirror.
- Turn signals are required on all motorcycles manufactured in 1972 and after, along with brake light and headlight, which must always be illuminated.
- Motorcycles must have a muffler.
- Motorcyclists are entitled to full use of a lane of traffic. No vehicle may be next to a motorcycle, except that two motorcyclists may ride abreast in a lane of traffic.
- Riders may not operate motorcycles between lanes of traffic.
- Motorcycle operators must possess a Class M license, and must have an insurance policy with bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000/$50,000 and property damage coverage of at least $25,000.
Can I Still Recover Compensation If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
Georgia law requires every rider on a motorcycle to wear a helmet and protective eyewear. Wearing a helmet reduces the severity of head injuries in a motorcycle accident. If you weren’t wearing a helmet when an accident occurred, you may wonder whether you can still recover compensation for your injuries.
A plaintiff in a motorcycle accident can still recover compensation even if no helmet was worn. This is because not wearing a helmet does not cause an accident. However, the insurance company for the at-fault driver may use the lack of a helmet to argue for a smaller payout. That’s’ why you need an attorney who will stand up for your rights.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Motorcycle Wreck?
If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Georgia, take these steps to protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.