Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
In a traffic accident involving motorcycles and automobiles, it is likely that the motorcyclist will suffer more harm than the auto driver who is protected by airbags, a steel frame, and additional safety features. Even if a motorcyclist has years of experience and is driving defensively while obeying all traffic laws, he or she can still be involved in a very serious collision on the roadway. Unfortunately, many insurance companies unfavorably stereotype motorcyclists as being careless and reckless.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, The Eichholz Law may be able to assist you. We have a detailed understanding of motorcycle laws and the resources to fully litigate any motorcycle injury claim.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is a negligent automobile driver. Therefore, a heavy burden is put upon every motorcyclist to remain alert and fully aware of their surroundings at all times, watching for danger.
Becoming informed of potential dangers is a great first step in avoiding them. Here’s a partial listing of behaviors and conditions that contribute to accidents involving motorcycles:
Identified by their erratic swerving and major speed variations, going from fast to slow to fast again
Poor Road Conditions
Ice, snow, rain, sleet, poorly marked road construction areas, and work debris on the roadway
Not Checking Blind Spots
Failure on a driver’s part to effectively look and ensure clearance in blind spots where mirrors don’t reach
Auto drivers may open car doors without looking first for oncoming traffic, thus obstructing a motorcyclists’ path
Splitting Lanes or Line Driving
Bikers cut back-and-forth between slow vehicles by crossing lanes or ride right on the dividing line between lanes
Overcompensation on Front Brake
Negligent car driving may cause a biker to apply hard brakes, causing the rider’s momentum to throw him or her over the front of motorcycle
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
While there are many body parts that can be injured in a bike crash, most motorcycle accident injuries can be categorized into general injury groups. Some of these include (but are not limited to):
- Road Rash – This describes the cuts, bruises and abrasions resulting from a human body hitting the ground or roadway at vehicle speed.
- Broken Bones – These can result from being thrown through the air and colliding with another object such as a motor vehicle, the roadway, a bridge abutment, or even a tree.
- Amputation – Sadly, this can tragically occur during the accident or surgically afterward, because of the crucial compromise of an extremity.
- Spinal Cord Injury – As a very crucial and vulnerable part of the body, the spinal cord’s injury can cause paralysis of the arms and/or legs, or even death.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – Failure to wear a safety helmet can quickly lead to head trauma from a motorcycle collision. Unprotected impact with hard surfaces can cause critically serious head and brain damage that leads to a severe degrading of one’s quality of life.
- Death – Without question, fatalities frequently result when motorcycles and motor vehicles collide. In addition, many of the above-mentioned injuries can ultimately lead to death.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Despite there being recent advancements in rider safety clothing and equipment, due to the exposed nature of most motorcycles, the possibility of the rider and any passengers being injured in a crash is quite significant.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in accidents in 2018.
- Motorcyclist fatalities occur 28 times more than drivers of passenger cars.
- Between 2008 and 2016 there was a total of 48,690 motorcycle accident fatalities, which averages to 4,869 motorcycle crash-related deaths every year.
Damages Arising from Motorcycle Injuries
The resulting medical treatments that are usually required to help an injured motorcycle accident victim recover can be crushing. Surgery costs, medication, rehabilitation and other related expenses can be the ruin of many people – let alone lost wages, mental anguish and pain and suffering. Individuals whose lives have been disrupted by a motorcycle wreck should immediately seek legal counsel.
Difficulties experienced by individuals following a motorcycle collision include:
- Medical expenses for emergency, hospitalization, and ongoing care
- Loss of wages due to work-preventing injuries
- Chronic pain from injuries
- Lowered quality of life, especially from severe injuries
- Mental anguish from stress, depression, etc.
- Rehabilitation costs
- Medical equipment expenses
- Motorcycle replacement costs
- Loss of consortium (relationship with spouse)
The above listing gives a small view into the devastating conditions that can beset an accident victim. The legal team at The Eichholz Law Firm has the experience and knowledge to move your case forward at the highest level of success possible.
Injury Claims in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle laws vary from state to state. Georgia, for example, requires that all road-going motorcyclists must wear eye protection and helmets to reduce the risk of motorcycle injuries. Strict DUI laws are also being enforced in an attempt to reduce the chances of an accident occurring. Unfortunately, despite all of these safety measures, accidents happen.
If the driver of the other vehicle was at fault in causing the accident, a motorcyclist may be entitled to receive financial compensation for damages due to the other party’s negligence. PIP (personal injury protection) insurance does not cover motorcyclists, so it cannot bind them by its restrictions either. This means that injured motorcyclists do not have a limit or cap on the amount of compensation they can seek for losses, damages, and pain and suffering.
In further explanation, PIP insurance comes into play with motor vehicle accidents. It requires injured individuals to meet an “injury threshold” before they can seek compensation from a negligent party. PIP does not allow victims to pursue compensation for pain and suffering. Motorcyclists, however, are not held to the requirement of passing an “injury threshold,” thus allowing them to seek rightful compensation for all damages, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income.
Motorcycle accident suits fall into the category of personal injury and include the element of negligence. Therefore, it is necessary for an attorney to prove that the other driver caused the accident by failing to use a reasonable standard of care. The attorney conducts an investigation to uncover more facts, such as whether the other party obeyed traffic laws, was intoxicated, or acted in a dangerous manner.
2. Product Liability
Sometimes, the cause of a wreck can stem from a defect in a motorcycle. In cases such as this, the injured party can potentially file a suit against the maker of the defective motorcycle or defective part. This action allows the victim to receive compensation for the injuries sustained and damages suffered.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers will thoroughly conduct an investigation into the motorcycle in question to find any defects that existed before the accident took place. The attorney will work to find out if:
- The motorcycle or a certain part was “unreasonably dangerous.”
- The motorcycle was being operated correctly, as intended.
- The motorcycle’s performance hadn’t changed since purchase.
- There were defects in the motorcycle’s brakes, accelerators, tires, or fuel system.
3. Wrongful Death
When a family member is killed as the result of a motorcycle accident caused by another party, the remaining family members may be able to hold the negligent party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit. Our firm can work to help the surviving family prove the other party’s negligence and responsibility for their loved one’s death.
Negotiations with Insurance Companies
Motorcycle accident victims need to have a highly skilled attorney on their side, because negotiations must take place with an insurance company. An experienced attorney will stand between the victim and the insurance company representative to negotiate a settlement for damages from the accident. Should this negotiation process prove to be unsatisfactory or unsuccessful, the attorney can pursue action in court against the negligent parties.
In most collisions, the insurance company of the at-fault rider will send out an investigator to review the collision and try to assess the damages involved. It is very important to remember that these investigators are not your friends. They are highly-skilled workers who are trained to extract sensitive information from injury victims when they are most vulnerable.
As you may already expect, any information that is provided to them will be used against the injury victim if they decide to pursue legal recourse to obtain compensation. In this situation, our experienced attorneys can help to defer those questions – in many cases, we will request that all questions be diverted directly to our firm.
In effect, what this does is provide our customers with a level of insulation and protection from these investigators, which allows the injury victim to focus on their speedy recovery.
Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
When two vehicles are involved in a wreck, the at-fault party and his or her insurer are responsible for paying for the damages. However, fault must be proven. Georgia law says you have the right to recover damages if you are under fifty percent at-fault.
Georgia law holds you, the motorcyclist, responsible for certain things:
- Ensure all riders wear a helmet.
- No “lane splitting” or squeezing between vehicles to move forward.
- Always ride with lights on.
- Possess a valid license for operating a motorized bike.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Individuals who are involved in a motorcycle accident often find themselves ostracized by their own insurance companies and treated as though they are guilty of causing the crash. The legal team at The Eichholz Law Firm has a reputation as one of Georgia’s most diligent and effective personal injury law firms. Speak with an attorney who can help you find justice and compensation to move past this accident.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
At the Eichholz Law Firm We Are Lawyers That Care About You
Our clients are at the center of everything we do and our team is focused on delivering results. We are committed to fighting for justice and increased social responsibility in our community.
Our objective is to provide expert legal services in an effort to maximize results for clients who have been injured through the negligence of others.