A Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorney On Your Side
The freedom and openness of driving a motorcycle might be greater than driving a traditional motor vehicle, but when an accident happens, the potential of serious injury or even death is also far greater for the motorcycle driver. Each year in the United States there are thousands of deaths and injuries experienced by motorcycle drivers. In fact, the CDC reports that in 2020 alone, there were over 180,000 motorcyclists treated in emergency departments for injuries resulting from crashes. This is in addition to over 5,500 deaths.
If you or a loved one has experienced a long-term, life-altering injury as a result of a motorcycle accident caused by someone or something else, you could have a claim to collect compensation for your damages. To learn more about the options available for your case, reach out to a Decatur motorcycle accident attorney from Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC.
Drivers on the road have a responsibility to drive legally, safe, sober, and attentively in Georgia, and failure to do so can be especially dangerous to motorcyclists. Navigating the complex insurance claims process to recover compensation for the costs and damages linked to your motorcycle accident injuries can be time-consuming and confusing. With an experienced Decatur motorcycle accident attorney on your claim as soon as possible after your accident, the odds of your recovering the full compensation you deserve are markedly improved.
The experienced attorneys of Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC are standing by to review the facts of your accident to determine if we can take your case and help you make the most of it.
Distracted Driving is a Leading Cause of Motorcycle Accidents
A common slogan for motorcyclists and cyclists alike is “share the road,” meaning that the drivers of traditional motor vehicles, in addition to the drivers of large trucks and other vehicles, must be attentive to persons who are riding on two wheels. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and one of the leading causes is distracted driving. According to the CDC, distracted driving leads to 9 deaths each day in the United States. In 2019 alone, over 3,100 people were killed and more than 424,000 injured in crashes that involved distracted drivers.
Distracted driving is engaging in any behavior that negatively impacts a driver’s ability to pay attention to the road and to drive safely. Examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving
- Talking on a cell phone or even to a passenger while driving
- Manipulating the radio or in-dash display
- Applying makeup
There are many other activities that constitute distracted driving because they cause one or all of the following types of impairment:
- Mental impairment: When a driver is distracted, their mind is not on their driving, which can decrease their ability to respond to a situation on the road or to pay attention to motorcycle drivers
- Visual impairment: Any activity that takes the driver’s eyes off of the road endangers them and others on the road
- Manual impairment: when the hands of the driver are taken off the wheel, they are unable to drive safely and respond to demanding situations and emergencies on the road
An example of distracted driving would be when a driver is texting while operating a motor vehicle. Their hands are impaired from driving by being on their phone typing, their eyes are not on the road as they are on the phone looking at the message, and the driver’s mind is impaired as they are focusing on the content of the text message. When a driver is impaired in any of these 3 ways, they are distracted and can be liable for any damages that result from motorcycle accidents they cause. A Georgia motorcycle accident attorney can aid in the collection of these damages.
Distracted Driving is Illegal in Georgia
Under the Hands-Free Georgia Act, it is illegal for motorists to hold their phones to read or text while driving. Additionally, video recording and broadcasting are also prohibited. Calls and the use of GPS navigation are only allowed under the law through Bluetooth devices so that the hands and eyes of the driver are not taken away from the road. Under the law, the use of a phone while driving is considered to be distracted driving, which is defined by the Deputy Director of Injury Prevention at the Georgia Department of Public Health as “when drivers divert their attention from driving to focus on something else”.
If a driver in Georgia is distracted under the definition of the law and causes a motorcycle accident, they may be liable for the resulting damages. When a driver violates the law and causes an accident, a Georgia motorcycle accident attorney may be able to hold them liable for civil damages in addition to any criminal charges or traffic penalties they may face.
Georgia Motorcycle Crash Statistics
The Georgia Department of Driver Services notes that while motorcycle drivers represent just two percent of the vehicles registered in Georgia, motorcyclists represented 11 percent of total traffic fatalities, and 21 percent of total driver fatalities.
The number of motorcyclist fatalities have in fact increased in the recent past, with 139 fatalities in 2017, 154 in 2018, 170 motorcyclists killed on GA roads in 2018, and 179 in 2020. Over the course of 2017 to 2019 motorcyclist fatalities in GA increased by 22 percent. The number of crashes are also alarming, with 4,269 motorcyclists involved in crashes in GA in 2019.
Common Injuries and Outcomes from Motorcycle Crashes
The freedom that comes with riding an open motorcycle on the road is accompanied by the increased risk of bodily harm in the event of an accident. Whether colliding with a motor vehicle, the motorcycle, or the road itself, motorcyclists face greater odds of serious injury and even death, as exhibited by the statistics presented above.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a TBI, happens when the brain experiences a bump, blow, or penetrating wound that causes the brain to be jostled around inside the skull. This can cause bruising to the brain and internal bleeding which can result in permanent chemical changes in the brain of the victim. Even when wearing a helmet the impact of an accident can cause a motorcyclist to suffer a TBI. The results of a TBI can lead to long-term symptoms that negatively impact both the personal and professional life of the injured motorcyclist.
Neck and Back Injury
Neck and back injuries can be equally as debilitating as a TBI. These can require ongoing surgeries, rehabilitation, as well as ongoing pain management and medication. Oftentimes neck and back injuries can take time to emerge, and may worsen with time, underlining the importance of receiving a thorough medical assessment before accepting any offers of settlement for your injuries.
Loss of Use of Limb and/or Amputation
Given that motorcycle drivers are not provided with the protection of a metal chassis surrounding them in which they are seatbelted in and surrounded by airbags, the danger of serious injury is substantially greater. When motorcycles skid at high speeds and the cyclist is not wearing skid-proof material, the prospect of losing a leg is very real. This kind of injury leads to life-long disability that will entitle the victim to compensation for their loss of earnings potential, and in many situations the pain and suffering associated with the injury.
Spinal Cord Injury
Even with a helmet on, the risk of injury to the spinal cord due to the sudden impact of the head with the motorcycle or the road, or injuries to the back, is great within the context of a Georgia motorcycle crash. The degree of incapacitation that results from your injuries will determine the amount in medical coverage and lost earnings compensation you are entitled to. Your Decatur motorcycle accident attorney helps you calculate these amounts and prove them with evidence from experts that both the insurance companies and courts if needed will accept.
If you have lost a loved one to injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident, whether at the scene of the accident or after prolonged medical care, you could be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death action. Given that motorcyclists are more likely than automobile drivers involved in accidents to be killed, this is an unfortunate reality that the families of injured motorcyclists must face. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to replace the lost value of the financial and other contributions to the household like chores and childcare that the fatally injured motorcyclists made prior to the accident. No amount of money can bring back a lost loved one, but a wrongful death claim can help to provide financial stability rather than ongoing loss after the accident.
Collecting Damages for Your Motorcycle Accident Injury Requires a Claim
When you or a loved one experiences a life-altering injury with long-term costs and consequences, the financial compensation you might be entitled to is not received automatically. Instead, you’ll need to gather evidence to prove liability on behalf of the at-fault party and evidence to accurately and completely measure the full costs associated with your injury.
It is possible the injuries can cause life-long suffering. Calculating the damages that your motorcycle accident injury will result in for the remainder of your life requires follow-up opinions from medical and occupational experts. The treatments you will need in the future for your injuries and how those injuries will impact your ability to work and also enjoy life are incorporated into your damages. Working with a Georgia motorcycle accident attorney helps to streamline the process. At Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC, we handle the collection of evidence and drafting processes on your behalf. We also help you schedule appointments with experts and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company.
Insurance Companies May Try and Shift Blame by Citing Unsafe Driving or Helmet Law Violations
It is also important to keep in mind that alongside 18 other states and the District of Columbia. Georgia has a universal motorcycle helmet law. This law mandates that motorcycle drivers who are operating vehicles that require a helmet, namely those without an enclosed cab, must wear a helmet or risk being in violation of the law. The way that not wearing a motorcycle helmet might impact your claim will depend upon the unique facts and circumstances of the accident, and your local Georgia motorcycle accident attorney is best equipped to determine your best options.
Discuss Your Claim with a Decatur Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now
The process of gathering evidence, drafting and filing a claim, then successfully negotiating a complete settlement with the responsible driver and their insurance company can be difficult. The requirements of submitting a claim can be confusing and complex, and finding medical experts who are familiar with the insurance claims process and how future damages are estimated can be difficult.
Working with a Decatur motorcycle accident attorney from Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC removes the entire process from your day-to-day life, so that you and your family can focus on your recovery from the accident. Adapting to life and making the necessary changes after a life-altering injury can be hard, and having an experienced lawyer on your side can remove much of the stress and time associated with recovering the compensation that you are entitled to.
Don’t worry about whether or not you can afford our services. Your initial case review is free, and if we are able to take your case, we only get paid if we win. There are no out-of-pocket costs for you, ever, and we explain how the process works and answer any questions you might have before getting started.
To learn more, connect with Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC by calling us at (678) 616-9290, or visit our site to schedule your free consultation now