Georgia offers beautiful scenery and lovely weather for riding a motorcycle, making it a popular method of transportation. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents with severe injuries and fatalities are happening at an increasing rate, and they are too often caused by other drivers who aren’t paying attention or driving recklessly. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in this way, you may be legally entitled to compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you’ve dealt with. When you need a motorcycle accident lawyer in Atlanta to help you understand your legal rights and fight on your behalf to get justice and compensation, the experienced attorneys at the Fitzpatrick Firm are here to help.
Understanding Motorcycle Accidents
While many people think motorcycle accidents are the fault of motorcyclists, this is generally not the case. In fact, many drivers tend to not notice motorcycles or assume traffic laws don’t apply, and thus many accidents are caused by car and truck drivers turning or merging in front of the motorcycle, opening a car door in their path, or rear-ending them.
These accidents are particularly dangerous with riders being significantly more likely to be injured or fatally injured than individuals riding in cars, trucks, or other vehicles. Sadly, motorcyclists are around 35 times more likely to have a fatal accident than a car driver.
Common Injuries Associated with Motorcycle Accidents
Because motorcycles don’t have the steel frame protection, airbags, or other safety features a car or other vehicle offers, serious injuries are common during an accident. The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Broken bones or fractures;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Spinal cord injury;
- Road rash, lacerations, and contusions;
Sadly, many motorcycle accidents are fatal, with over 5,000 people a year dying due to injuries sustained during these accidents.
Determining Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
While many states have an “all or nothing” approach where if the plaintiff is found to be even slightly at fault, they can’t be awarded any kind of compensation. Fortunately, Georgia is not like that. Instead, our civil court relies on the doctrine of modified comparative negligence which means that if an accident victim was less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, the jury may still award damages to the plaintiff.
The jury will determine how much the case is worth or how much in damages the plaintiff should receive for their injuries. Then, they determine how much of the accident they believe is the fault of the plaintiff versus the fault of the defendant. Finally, the jury will subtract the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault for the accident from the damages, and that will be awarded to the plaintiff.
For example, if a defendant was tailgating a motorcyclist and rear-ended the plaintiff, but the plaintiff’s brake light was burnt out, the jury may determine the plaintiff was 30 percent responsible for the accident, and the case was worth $50,000. The jury will subtract 30 percent, or $15,000, and award the plaintiff $35,000.
Choosing the Right Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured while riding a motorcycle due to another driver’s carelessness, we understand that the road to recovery is difficult and you may also be experiencing stress and worry due to mounting medical bills and an inability to work. When an insurance company approaches you offering a settlement, it’s natural to want to take it so you can get back on your feet.
However, insurance companies are not on your side. They are trying to protect their clients and reduce their costs, and that means they rarely offer a fair settlement. More often, they will even try to paint the accident as your fault or even say that your injuries aren’t that serious in order to keep the case out of court and lower their payouts.
Having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side is imperative to securing a fair settlement or being awarded damages for your case. While we strive to settle out of court so we can get money in your hands sooner, we aren’t afraid to take your case to court and fight on your behalf. With a network of medical experts and accident reconstructionists, we will investigate your case and create passionate, powerful strategies in order to get the damages you are entitled to and that you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
As soon as you are able to reach out to a motorcycle accident attorney, it’s important to do so. In Georgia, you only have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim, and if you miss this window of time, your case will not be heard in court. Also, the sooner you reach out, the sooner your lawyer can begin investigating and building your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Today
Motorcycle accidents often lead to serious, debilitating injuries that can lead to high medical bills, long-term disability, and the inability to work. You shouldn’t have to suffer and struggle due to someone else’s carelessness, and The Fitzpatrick Firm is dedicated to making sure you don’t. We will fight to get you fair compensation and achieve a favorable outcome in your case so you can move forward with confidence. Speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Atlanta, reach out to us today, or fill out the form below to get started.