Helping Motorcyclists Find Justice for Their Injuries
There are few experiences as freeing as jumping on a motorcycle and hitting the open road. Of course, finding an open road in Atlanta can be a bit challenging. But outside the city, the highways and backroads of Georgia seem to beg for bikers to let loose and forget all of their problems, if only for a few hours.
Unfortunately, cars and other vehicles don’t always appreciate the fact that there are motorcycles on the road. Some drivers may act aggressively toward motorcyclists, while others may simply not pay enough attention to them. No matter the reason, motorcycle accidents are far too common on Georgia’s roads.
In 2018, there were 2,266 total traffic fatalities in Georgia. About 12 percent of those were motorcyclist fatalities. That’s 264 fatalities in one year alone. Of course, this statistic doesn’t include bikers injured in accidents — thousands every year.
Motorcycle accidents are so dangerous because bikers don’t have the same kind of protections as car drivers. While cars have airbags and doors to protect drivers and passengers, motorcyclists have little more than a helmet and a jacket to protect them. That’s why motorcycle accidents so often result in serious injury and, in too many cases, death.
Anyone injured in this type of collision should speak with a Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. Contact LawyerUp today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types of Compensation You May Receive After a Motorcycle Accident in Georgia
In Georgia, there are two general types of compensation you may be eligible for: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are the easiest to assign. They are intended to compensate you for actual money you lost due to your injuries. This includes money spent on past and future medical bills, property repairs, lost wages due to missing work, and more.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are a more subjective type of compensation. It mainly involves emotional, mental and physical damage you suffered. This includes pain and suffering, mental anguish and more. Because there’s no actually lost money involved with this compensation, your Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer will need to fight for your right to noneconomic damages either in court or while negotiating with the insurance company.
In limited cases, a jury may also award punitive damages in the defendant acted in a willful, wanton and/or reckless manner. The most common reason punitive damages are awarded is if the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. The maximum amount awarded for punitive damages is $250,000. Punitive damages are very rarely awarded.
Negligence Laws in Georgia
In order to effectively seek compensation, you must prove that the other driver either intentionally caused the accident, or they acted negligently. Negligence is a legal term that applies when someone acts in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t. There are four general elements of negligence.
The first is duty of care. Drivers have a duty to drive safely, follow all traffic laws and avoid causing damage or injury to other drivers, including motorcyclists. The second element is a breach of that duty of care. For instance, if a driver runs a red light and hits a biker, they have breached their duty of care.
The third element is causation. In essence, the other driver’s duty of care must have caused your injuries. For example, if there’s an accident across the street, and a biker gets distracted by it, there likely won’t be a solid case for the motorcyclist. In the same manner, if a driver has to suddenly swerve due to a tree falling, and they hit a motorcyclist, it probably wouldn’t be considered negligence, since that tree falling was an unforeseeable incident.
Finally, there must be real damages to be paid. This is generally easy to prove. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage and more count as real damages.
Georgia follows a comparative negligence statute. If you are found 50% or more at fault for the accident, you can’t receive compensation. However, if you are found 49% or less at fault for the accident, you can receive compensation lessened by the amount you’re at fault. For instance, if you win $10,000 for your injuries, but you’re found 20% at fault for the accident, you would only receive $8,000.
Speak to a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Motorcycle accidents can quickly become complicated legal cases. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your wreck. During your free consultation, a lawyer will review the details of your case and help you figure out your best legal options. Contact LawerUp today to get in touch with an experienced attorney.