Operating any type of motor vehicle can be dangerous because there are a lot of irresponsible drivers on the roadways, but some vehicles are inherently more dangerous than others. Motorcycles, for example, can be particularly dangerous because you do not have anything surrounding you to absorb an impact, like you would if you were in a car.

The body of the car provides protection to the car’s occupants during a car accident and helps keep them inside, but a motorcycle does not afford that type of protection. When you are involved in a collision while riding a motorcycle, there is nothing separating you from the object you are impacting, and this can result in a very serious injury or even death.

As a motorcycle rider, you have probably heard the same lecture about wearing a helmet over and over again. However, even if you choose to listen and wear a helmet, this cannot prevent all motorcycle injuries, especially in very serious accidents. Contusions, broken bones, face injuries, burns, arm, leg, and feet road rash, and other very serious conditions can easily occur when there is nothing protecting the rest of your body from the road, other vehicles, poles, and anything else that you may come into contact with in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, choosing to ride a motorcycle brings on these risks and dangers automatically, and there is not much that you can do to prevent them other than safely operating your bike. But because there are other dangerous drivers on the roadways, being as safe as you can possibly be while riding your motorcycle is no guarantee of safety.

Motorcycle Accident FAQ

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you undoubtedly have a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some of the questions most frequently asked.

What makes motorcycles more dangerous than cars?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that motorcycle riders are about 28 times more likely to die in an accident than the occupants of passenger cars. Some of the reasons that motorcycles are so dangerous include:

  • Less protection than a car: Motorcycles lack the natural occupant protection characteristics of a car, such as a roof, door beams, seat belts, and airbags.
  • Less stability: Motorcycles, with just two wheels, are less stable than cars, meaning that there is an increased risk of accidents caused by road hazards such as potholes, uneven lanes, or slick conditions.
  • Less visibility: The drivers of passenger cars or commercial vehicles have a hard time seeing motorcycles, particularly at night, leading to accidents caused by cars turning into the motorcycle or into its path.
  • Lane splitting: This dangerous practice involves a motorcycle riding between and within the same lane as cars that are slowed or stopped due to traffic. State law prohibits lane splitting.
  • Lack of training or licensing: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 27 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes in 2015 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses, indicating that some of these motorcyclists did not go through the training and/or test of skills that would be required when obtaining a motorcycle license. Georgia law requires motorcyclists to obtain a motorcycle license.

What is the most common cause of accidents for motorcyclists?

According to a report from Ride Apart, the most common type of motorcycle accident is drivers making left-hand turns into or into the path of motorcycles. Drivers often don’t see motorcyclists before beginning their turn. Speeding by either the motorcyclist or another motorist and alcohol impairment also are common causes of motorcycle accidents. Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that approximately one-quarter of all of the motorcycle riders killed in crashes in the United States is alcohol-impaired at the time of the crash. About 30 people die in alcohol-related vehicle accidents in the Atlanta area every year.

What are some common injuries suffered by motorcyclists?

Motorcycle injuries can be quite serious, and may include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. Head trauma is the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents.
  • Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to complete or partial paralysis and even death.
  • Limb amputation
  • Severe muscle damage
  • Burn injuries, which can be caused by gas tank spillage. Burn injuries increase the chance of infection and permanent scarring

How can I pay for the injuries I suffered in a motorcycle accident?

Motorcyclists who are injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence often wonder how they’re going to be able to afford the mounting cost of medical treatment, the loss of wages and future earning capacity, long-term care for catastrophic injuries, and other expenses associated with their recovery. Georgia is a “fault” state, meaning that the first resource to turn to for compensation for your injuries is a third-party claim with the at-fault party’s liability insurance. If the at-fault party’s insurance carrier delays or denies your claim or fails to offer a reasonable settlement based on your current and future medical needs, then there also may be the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit in court if your accident occurred within the personal injury statute of limitations, which is two years.

What must I prove to win my motorcycle accident case?

As with other types of personal injury cases, a successful outcome to your motorcycle accident case involves proving negligence. In order to establish negligence, you must show:

  • The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. If the at-fault party is the driver of another vehicle, the duty of care would be to obey traffic laws and to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner.
  • There was a breach in the at-fault party’s duty of care.
  • This breach in care resulted in the accident, which caused the damages you are seeking to recover.

If I am partially responsible for my accident, can I still sue the other at-fault party?

Georgia practices a modified comparative negligence standard. What this means is that even if you are partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you may still file a claim against other at-fault parties as long as your own liability is not 50 percent or more. However, any damage award you obtain through that claim will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you bear for the accident.

If my loved one died in a motorcycle accident, is there any way to recover damages?

You may be eligible to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. State law defines wrongful death as the death of a person caused by the negligent, reckless, intentional or criminal acts of another person or entity. Those eligible to file a wrongful death claim include:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s children
  • If there is no spouse or children, a claim may be filed by the decedent’s parents
  • The personal representative of the estate

Some of the damages that can be recovered through a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Lost wages and benefits, including those that the deceased person reasonably would have earned if he or she had lived
  • Loss of care and companionship and other intangible losses
  • Medical expenses related to the deceased’s final injury
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Conscious pain and suffering that the deceased endured before death

Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the deceased’s date of death.

Sometimes accidents are inevitable. When an accident is due to someone else’s negligence, this is when you need help the most. Because of the serious injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident, you may have significant medical bills and have to miss time from work. The mounting bills and lost wages can be stressful and can make painful injuries even more difficult to endure.
An experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney like Darl Champion at The Champion Firm, P.C., can help you through this difficult time. The legal system can be confusing, frustrating, and stressful. We will navigate the legal process for you while you focus all of your energy on healing. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, receiving compensation for your personal injuries is an important step in your recovery process. Contact The Champion Firm, P.C., today.

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Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Atlanta – Risky Riding

As mentioned before, the decision to ride a motorcycle comes with a lot of risks and dangers. If you do not choose to wear a helmet, these risks increase dramatically. No matter how safe you try to be, you cannot control the actions of other drivers. Motorcycles are much less visible than other types of vehicles. Although motorists may believe that they are doing a good job looking out for their surroundings, there are certain situations in which it may be very difficult to see a motorcycle.

Common Motorcycle Accident Causes:

Semis changing lanes on the highway

When changing lanes on the highway, most people are aware that they need to check their blind spot. However, drivers are accustomed to quickly checking these blind spots for cars, and cars take up a lot of room. So a quick glance for a big car may mean that they do not see a motorcycle.

Merging into a lane that a motorcyclist is in can cause them to be knocked into a median, other cars, or something even worse.

Parked cars opening doors

Another common motorcycle accident is when drivers park on the side of a road and do not thoroughly check behind them before opening their car door. If a motorcyclist is coming and the driver opens their door, it could result in the motorcycle making contact with the door or making quick, unsafe, adjustments in order to get out of the way. These movements can cause other drivers to be caught off guard, possibly causing an even worse accident.

The examples mentioned above are only a few examples of risks that come with riding a motorcycle. Overall, riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than riding in a car. As much as you try to control your safety and actions, the actions of other drivers can be unpredictable: from distracted driving, drowsy driving, cell phone use, and eating in the car, or distracted truck drivers. If you are in an accident due to the negligence of another driver, you do not deserve to suffer.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Atlanta, Georgia, area through no fault of your own, you need to seek legal representation from a motorcycle accident attorney. At The Champion Firm, P.C., we want to help you through this difficult time and help you receive all the compensation that the law allows. Contact us today to get started.

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Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney: Insurance Information

One of the most important reasons for contacting a personal injury attorney after your motorcycle accident is to make sure all available sources of insurance are located. Motorcycle accidents can result in very serious injuries or death because there is nothing surrounding a motorcycle rider to protect their body in a collision.

Common injuries in a motorcycle accident include severe road rash, scarring, broken bones, torn ligaments, and brain injuries. Because of the serious injuries that can result, your damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering can be substantial. Unfortunately, many motorists lack sufficient insurance to cover all of the damages that they may cause when they negligently injure a motorcycle rider, and some do not have any insurance at all. This makes finding all of the insurance that can be used to pay for your damages one of the most important steps in the process of your injury claim.

There are a variety of sources of insurance in any motor vehicle accident, and motorcycle accidents are no different. The vehicle that caused the collision should have an insurance policy on it. In Georgia, the minimum required insurance limits are only $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence for bodily injury.

These minimum requirements are insufficient to cover the serious injuries that normally result from a motorcycle accident. If the driver of the vehicle that caused the wreck did not own the vehicle he or she was driving, then there may be additional coverage that applies to the driver. For example, the driver may have their own insurance policy that covers them while driving the car they were in at the time of the collision. It is also important to determine whether the driver was working at the time because employers are liable for any negligent acts that their employees commit in the course and scope of their employment.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In addition to liability insurance that may provide coverage for the at-fault driver, the injured motorcyclist may be entitled to uninsured motorist coverage, which is commonly referred to as UM. In Georgia, UM applies to cover an injured motorist’s damages if the at-fault driver either has no insurance or not enough insurance to pay all of the damages. The insurance policy for the motorcycle may have UM coverage. Additionally, because many motorcycles are second vehicles, the injury motorcyclist may have other vehicles with insurance policies that contain UM coverage. The UM policies for those additional vehicles may be available for your motorcycle accident, even if you were not operating any of those other vehicles. You may also be entitled to UM coverage for any motor vehicle insurance policies issued to any relatives who you reside with.

Med Pay

Last, medical payments coverage, or med pay as it commonly referred to, is a type of insurance coverage on your own insurance policy that can be used to pay medical bills for you and anyone on your motorcycle at the time of an accident. Med pay is basically like health insurance for you and your vehicle’s occupants in the event of an accident. It applies regardless of fault, which means it can be used to pay your medical bills even if you were at fault.

Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death

Motorcycles bring a great deal of freedom: the wind rushing around you, the ability to control your speed, the fun of a warm spring or summer day. Unfortunately, they also pose a number of dangers. Motorcycles do not offer significant protection in the event of an accident, increasing the hazard faced by their riders. In many cases, loved ones find themselves reeling after an accident in which a loved one dies.

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, for more than a decade, over 10 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities are due to motorcycle accidents. In 2018, there were 264 motorcyclist fatalities, representing a large increase over the five-year average of 177. About 14 die every year in the Atlanta area alone. For every motorcycle death, many more lives are forever changed due to catastrophic injuries.

Did your loved one die in a motorcycle accident through no fault of their own? You may need an attorney to help represent you. Contact The Champion Law Firm today at (404) 596-8044 to learn how we can help.

The Champion Law Firm: Your Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Attorney

Do you need a law firm to help you after a loved one’s death in a motorcycle accident? The Champion Law Firm offers extensive experience, including a wrongful death case in which the victim’s family was awarded over $2,000,000. While our past results will not guarantee future success, we do bring that experience and determination to your case—and we will help guide you throughout the process.

Who Bears Responsibility for Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents often have devastating consequences. Many parts work together to ensure that a motorcycle ride goes smoothly—and when any one of those parts breaks down, the responsible party may bear responsibility for the associated injuries. In order to determine who or what entity caused your loved one’s accident, you may need to work with a lawyer. Several factors may contribute to the accident:

Mechanical failure. Did the motorcycle work the way it was supposed to work, or did something in the motorcycle break down, causing the accident? Worn tires, a malfunctioning engine, or brakes that fail to stop properly and quickly can all lead to substantial injuries in a motorcycle accident.

In the case of mechanical failure, you may still need to ask several questions to determine what caused the accident. Evaluate:

  • Did your loved one have the motorcycle serviced regularly? Was it serviced recently? If the driver failed to conduct regular vehicle maintenance, including changing the oil and replacing the tires as necessary, they may bear responsibility for a failure in those areas.
  • Did your loved one recently take the motorcycle in for service or repairs? If the mechanic who serviced the motorcycle completed repairs improperly, it could contribute to the accident. You may also need a professional to assess whether the mechanic should have seen a potential hazard while maintaining the motorcycle.
  • Did the mechanical failure result from a manufacturer’s defect? In this case, the manufacturer may bear liability for the accident.

Poor road maintenance. The city bears a certain level of responsibility for maintaining roads and keeping them safe for all travelers, including both motorcycles and bicycles. Winning a lawsuit against the city can prove difficult; however, in some cases, the city may clearly show negligence in maintaining their roads and keeping drivers safe.

Other drivers. In many motorcycle accidents, other drivers fail to take proper precautions when driving around a motorcycle. Those drivers may fail to note the position of the motorcycle in the road, turn too fast, or try to edge a motorcycle out of its lane instead of allowing the motorcycle driver the room usually allotted to another vehicle. If the other driver failed to follow the rules of the road or neglected to notice the presence of your loved one, they may bear liability for the accident and your loved one’s loss.

Your loved one. Most motorcyclists realize quickly that they must pay closer attention than other drivers on the road. They have to adhere to all the rules of the road as well as paying particular attention to any vehicles around them to reduce the possibility of an accident. If your loved one failed to adhere to those rules, he may have caused or contributed to his accident.

What Damages Can Be Recovered from a Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Claim?

Each claim has slightly different elements that can impact the compensation you receive for your loved one’s death. In order to make a wrongful death claim, you will need to have a close, significant relationship with the loved one. Generally, insurance companies accept wrongful death claims from spouses, children, or parents of the deceased. The relationship you had with the deceased also bears on the compensation you may receive—for example, whether you received financial help from him at the time of his death.

Common compensation sought, however, includes:

  • Pain and suffering prior to your loved one’s death.
  • Medical expenses acquired before the death of your loved one.
  • Lost wages both before and after your loved one’s death.
  • Lost earning potential, especially if your loved one provided most or all of the financial support for you or for the family as a whole.
  • Loss of consortium. Loss of consortium usually applies to the spouse or children of the deceased, as they lose the wisdom and support offered by that individual.

Working with a Lawyer: The Best Way to Seek Compensation

Losing a loved one can cause financial chaos for your family, making it very difficult for you to seek the financial compensation you deserve. Will working with a lawyer represent the most expensive part of the process? At The Champion Law Firm, we want to help you navigate those difficult legal and financial waters. We will start with a free consultation and assessment of your claim. Then, we will:

  • Help you avoid many of the strategies used by the insurance company to avoid payment. Our services include consulting about any settlements offered by the insurance company as well as collecting evidence and, if necessary, negotiating on your behalf.
  • Fight for you if your case needs to go to court. We provide quality representation and advice for all of our clients.
  • Handle the paperwork on your behalf. When we file the paperwork, you know we filed it correctly.

In many cases, we have increased the compensation amount received by our clients, allowing them to more effectively move forward with their lives following the wrongful death of a loved one.

Contact a Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today!

Virtually all insurance policies require that you provide the insurer with notice of the accident as soon as possible. If you fail to provide timely notice, then the insurer can deny coverage. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to contact the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Champion Firm, P.C., immediately after your accident.

Immediate steps need to be taken to protect your rights, and any delay can result in you losing out on the potential for valuable compensation. We can locate all available sources of insurance and make sure that all of the insurance companies are properly notified. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, call the experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys at The Champion Firm, P.C., for a free consultation.

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