If you drive in and around Atlanta, you may be aware of this: Georgia’s Interstate 285 is one of the most dangerous, with more accidents per mile occurring on it than any other interstate in the whole United States!
In any large city like Atlanta, traffic almost never stops, and accidents happen far too often. In Georgia, about 12 percent of vehicle accident fatalities are motorcycle riders, with the largest percentage of motorcycle accident fatalities occurring in Chatham, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Fulton, and Cobb counties. If you or a loved is ever involved in a motorcycle accident, you will need an accident attorney; if you have recently been involved in an accident and you need an experienced attorney, call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at 678-562-5595.
What If You Crash?
Vehicle and motorcycle accidents have many causes, but if you were involved and injured in a traffic accident due to someone else’s negligence, you should consider filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Doing so could result in receiving compensation that will reimburse you for any losses resulting from the accident; these can include lost wages, costs to fix or replace your motorcycle, any medical bills, as well as any pain and suffering damages incurred.
Because insurance companies want to save money, they will try to minimize damages. Whether you are at fault or not, the insurance companies will try to shift blame for the accident. Keep in mind that the insurance agent and adjuster don’t work for you – they work for the insurance company, and they will go to great lengths in order to save the company money.
As a victim of a motorcycle accident, you should be careful about what you tell the other party’s insurance company, as anything you say may be brought up in potential court proceedings if the at-fault driver may sue you for damages.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Vehicle and car accidents can result from a variety of things, including but not limited to bad weather, mistakes, and outright negligence or a failure to practice caution. Examples of incidents that may cause accidents include:
- A passenger vehicle turning left in front of a motorcycle – In a huge percentage of accidents involving a motorcycle, a motorcyclist gets hit when a passenger vehicle turns left and cuts off the motorcycle. Always practice caution when turning left.
- Unlicensed motorcyclists – For obvious reasons, it is of utmost importance to have the proper license when operating specific vehicles, including motorcycles.
- Lane splitting – This activity is exceptionally dangerous, as you will most likely be travelling a lot faster than the cars around you; because of this, even if drivers check their blind spot, they may still hit you when changing lanes.
- Inexperienced drivers (of both passenger vehicles and motorcycles) – When you or another driver has insufficient experience driving – whether you’re a new driver or just new at riding a motorcycle – it can easily lead to accidents.
- Alcohol – Did you know that most motorcycle accidents involve a rider who was driving under the influence? You should never drink and drive, but especially when you’re at a particular risk of getting injured in an accident.
Regardless of the specifics, negligence is a known cause in the majority of accidents. When someone else is at fault, and the accident could have been avoided, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
Many accidents occur because of how people see and what they can see. Even the most attentive driver can miss something important and cause an accident unintentionally. So while the driver of a vehicle should be attentive and check twice for bikes, bikers should take responsibility and do everything possible to make themselves more visible so the odds of a crash can be reduced even more. By making yourself conspicuous, you are making yourself more visible and reducing your odds of being in a crash significantly.
Here are some effective tips for making yourself more visible when you are riding your motorcycle:
- Ride with your bike’s high beam on during daylight hours. It will make you more visible longer.
- To make drivers aware of your presence, install an aftermarket horn and honk it to let drivers know when you are approaching.
- Properly position yourself in the lane to put a cushion between you and other vehicles.
- Multiple bikes are easier to see that a single bike, so ride in groups whenever possible.
- Wear gear that offers high visibility. Wear a brightly colored jacket or vest and add some reflective tape on it. Hot pink, lime green, neon yellow, or bright orange will get you some attention. Add reflective tape on the chest and back for added visibility at night. Reflective safety vests are inexpensive and effective.
- Add a modulator for your brakelight and headlight. They can make the light appear to flash and will switch your headlight from high beam to low so you will stand out when you are riding your bike around other vehicles.
- Wear a brightly colored and highly visible helmet. Bright colors and unusual designs will help you get noticed much more quickly.
- Keep an eye on your speed. If you get too fast too quickly, drivers will have a smaller window of opportunity to see you. Your odds of being in a crash increase significantly when you are riding your bike at a faster speed.
- When you are shifting lanes, do so carefully and watch for drivers. Keep in mind that drivers won’t see you and your motorcycle as quickly as they will other vehicles. While drivers need t be watching for you and look twice, you need to be watching for drivers and other vehicles as well.
- Ride predictably. Don’t swerve in and around vehicles. Don’t ride on the line. Put yourself in the center of the lane so you will be noticed and in an area so cars won’t pass too close to you. You want to be noticed.
You should do everything that you possibly can to make yourself and your bike stand out and be more visible. Always adhere to traffic laws and make sure you use your signals and ride so drivers will know where you are headed. Adhere to any traffic signs and signals. You should always be responsible for your own safety. You can significantly reduce your chances of being in a crash.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Although recent developments in motorcycle safety equipment have made riding motorcycles safer than ever before, riders can still sustain critical and fatal injuries when traveling in inclement weather, at high speeds, dealing with other drivers, and encountering other hazards on the road.
Vehicle and motorcycle accidents can happen at any time of the day, in any kind of weather, but certain elements can contribute to a more dangerous driving or riding experience. Because motorcycles aren’t as big as cars, trucks, or vans, for example, some drivers don’t see them. Some drivers don’t pay the attention to the road and other vehicles (including motorcycles) as they should – this contributes to the overall more dangerous motorcycle ride.
In a motorcycle accident, you could have any one or many of the following bodily injuries, which may be temporary or permanent, and run the gamut from minor to severe:
- Breaks or fractures
- Cuts, burns, and road rash
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
The negligent party is responsible for an accident. Negligence means that a party knew, or should have known, that something they did could cause an accident and injuries. A driver doesn’t need to be issued a traffic ticket to be considered negligent. In most cases, the police won’t issue a ticket if they did not witness the accident themselves.
One of the most common negligent actions is speeding. When a driver travels over the posted speed limit he knows that an accident with serious injuries could occur. There are other actions that are also considered negligent. Whenever a driver disobeys the law or drives irresponsibly he is likely negligent. In addition to proving negligence in a case, you must also be able to show that you suffered damages as a result. Damages include medical bills for your injuries as well as other things such as lost wages and money for pain and suffering.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Savannah there are a few steps to follow. First and foremost, you need to seek medical attention for any injuries. This is particularly important in motorcycle crashes because you could have head trauma or internal injuries that are not immediately apparent. Call the police to report the accident. The police will review the accident scene, take witness statements and determine the cause of the crash when possible.
Consult with an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the incident. You will probably be contacted by the insurance company and asked to make a statement. Talk to your lawyer before you make a statement because what you say could matter to your case. You might be offered a settlement check by the insurance company. Don’t accept it if it is less than your expenses. All too often the insurance company tries to quickly resolve cases in this manner but by accepting a check you are probably limiting your right to make any further claims, even if the check doesn’t adequately cover your damages.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits?
Yes, you can file an accident lawsuit up to two years after your accident, but if you’ve been in an accident, you should consider filing as soon as possible so that your attorney can more easily contact any witnesses as well as the other individuals involved. Plus, the sooner you get compensation for your injuries, the better.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers at 678-562-5595 to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the specific circumstances of your case for free. As experts in dealing with these types of cases, we can communicate and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf so that you can focus on the important things in life, like recovering from your accident. What do you have to lose? Give us a call today.