Decatur Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
As anyone who has lived in Decatur for a long time knows, traffic in the area continues to grow more congested. Because more vehicles compete for space, accidents have increased, partly due to negligent and aggressive driving. For motorcyclists, this creates a particularly dangerous situation.
Without the protection of a vehicle around them, they tend to end up on the pavement when struck by a car, van, or truck. Bikers account for 7% of Georgia traffic fatalities, while they represent just 2% of vehicles.
You have rights if you are a motorcyclist injured in a traffic accident. Georgia law requires bikers receive total compensation for injuries caused by a negligent, careless, or reckless driver.
Why Choose Brooks Injury Law For Your Motorcycle Accident Claim In Decatur?
As Decatur motorcycle accident lawyers, Brooks Injury Law knows motorcycle accident claims. We have seen all types of accidents involving bikers, and the liability is often entirely on the other side. Therefore, our litigation experts never stop pushing until our clients receive the total compensation to which they are entitled.
Do I Need A Lawyer For My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Since motorcycle accidents have a 96% serious injury rate, chances are excellent that you need a lawyer regardless of fault. If another vehicle caused your accident, receiving total compensation will require a litigation team to prove the other party's negligence and your damages.
On the other hand, if you are at fault, such as in a one-vehicle motorcycle crash, your insurance company may fight you on the number of damages. A Decatur motorcycle accident attorney pushes back against low settlement offers and negotiates for your full compensation.
Motorcycle Accidents Where Another Party Is At Fault
At Brooks Law, we see many motorcycle accident claims where another party was negligent in causing the accident. For instance, left-hand turners on clogged Decatur streets often try to save a few seconds by racing to beat oncoming traffic. Left-hand turn accidents, like rear-end collisions, are one of those instances where fault belongs to one party. But that won't stop insurance companies from forming an often imagined basis to pin part or all the blame on the driver who had the right of way.
A typical defense argument is to claim that the plaintiff must have been speeding because of the severity of property damage or injuries. Therefore, they bear substantial fault for their damages and should receive a lower award. They use Georgia's comparative negligence personal injury law to advance these outrageous speculations.
Under comparative negligence in Georgia, a court must find the plaintiff less than 50% at fault to award damages. If it determines that the plaintiff shares a percentage of liability under 50%, it reduces the award by that amount.
For example, imagine a left-hand turner hitting your motorcycle, destroying the machine, and landing in the hospital. Your damages might well be $100,000. Should the court find you 0% at fault, your award is the full $100,000.
However, if it finds you 30% at fault, you receive just $70,000. A scenario like this might happen if the defense claimed you were speeding. It could maintain that your injuries were made far more severe because you were exceeding a 35 MPH speed limit, even if they have no direct evidence that this was the case.
As anyone who has worked on motorcycle personal injury cases knows, 35 MPH is plenty of speed to cause severe injury to a rider. The negligence of the left-hand turner caused all the damages. A reasonable person would have let the motorcycle pass before intruding into its lane.
A motorcycle accident attorney Decatur fights back against this type of nonsense. During the discovery phase of a lawsuit, your motorcycle accident lawyer Decatur gathers the evidence needed to establish liability, such as police reports, witness statements, accident investigation results, and expert opinions. Your litigation team also has the opportunity to examine defense witnesses directly.
The discovery process usually indicates that the other party is liable by a preponderance of the evidence. As a result, most cases settle in our client's favor before the trial date. However, if the defense remains stubborn, we take them to trial, prove our case, and win maximum damages.
Accidents Where The Motorcyclist Is At Fault
Many motorcyclists sustain severe injuries in single-vehicle accidents. When these occur, your insurance company must pay you full compensation for your injuries. However, insurers often look for reasons to pay less. They attempt to justify why your damages should be lower and hope you will take the inadequate payment without a fight.
Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer to negotiate on your behalf stops attempts to pay a low settlement. Our team evaluates your damage claims and insists on full payment, or we take the insurer to court.
Common Types Of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists rarely escape a crash unscathed. Road rash, fractures, and broken limbs are common even in lower-speed accidents. High-speed impacts lead to life-altering injuries and fatalities.
The human brain is a marvelous but fragile organ. The skull and, to some degree, helmets protect it against low-velocity impacts, but high-speed crashes often overwhelm defense mechanisms and result in brain damage.
Mild TBI responds to therapy, allowing victims to regain much or all of their cognitive functioning. On the other hand, severe TBI leads to lifelong disabilities, including memory loss, cognitive impairments, and personality changes.
The spinal cord is essential for movement, and when the communications between it and the brain are severed, victims spend their lives in wheelchairs or as people with quadriplegia.
Ongoing care is expensive, and insurance companies look for ways to trim settlements. Brooks Injury Law understands the devastating position paralyzed individuals and their families face. That’s why we fight as long as we need to for total compensation.
Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents
Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:
In a busy metro area like Decatur, there is an unfortunate abundance of negligent drivers. Speeding, careless turning, tailgating, texting while driving, racing to beat yellow lights, DUI, and other dangerous actions lead to bad drivers hitting motorcyclists.
Lane splitting, or driving between two vehicles heading the same direction, remains illegal in Georgia. A few states, such as California, have legalized this practice, but it remains dangerous for the rider and a cause of serious injuries.
Motorcycle riders need practice and experience to drive safely. Unfortunately, inexperienced riders, especially those without a motorcycle license, make up a disproportionate percentage of motorcycle accident injuries.
Motorcycles accelerate fast, which is one of the joys of riding. However, on congested Decatur roadways, speeding can spell trouble.
A one-vehicle motorcycle accident is not necessarily the rider’s fault. Road obstructions, such as debris that fell from a truck or a hazardously placed road sign, may force a biker off the road, causing a severe accident.
Motorcycle Accidents Types
- Head On Collisions
- Rear-End Accidents
- Side-Impact Collisions
Decatur Motorcycle Accidents Statistics
National Motorcycle Accident Facts & Stats
What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident In Marietta?
1. Move Move To Safety
If possible, move to the shoulder of the road for your safety and the safety of others. If you have serious injuries or are in an unsafe location, you must prioritize getting medical help and preventing further injury.
2. Call Call The Police
Always call the police to obtain a police report for your records. Additionally, call for medical assistance if injuries are sustained in the accident.
3. Gather Gather Information
Gather information from all parties involved, including their names, phone numbers, and insurance information. For your records, also take pictures at the scene of all vehicles involved. Try to locate any witnesses at the scene and get their identifying information as well.
4. Wait Don't Admit Fault
Beware of any contact with the opposing insurer. They employ people whose job is to find reasons to deny claims or reduce payouts. Anything you say to them will likely be recorded and used against you. Refer all calls from opposing insurers to your lawyer.
5. Seek Call An Attorney
Seek legal representation and never pay for a consultation. Find someone that will listen to your case free of cost and determine the best plan of action.
How Does The Investigation Process Work?
Accident investigations start with the police report. A special accident investigation team may also analyze the scene and report on its conclusions for serious injury- or fatal crashes. Your motorcycle accident attorney will also conduct an investigation.
In many cases, insurance companies attempt to disregard the findings of police and accident investigators and blame an innocent party. Your litigation team develops additional evidence to counteract these claims during the discovery process.
How Much Is Your Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?
Motorcycle accident claims vary widely in value. Some cases result in minor injuries and property damage. Others cause lifelong disabilities, such as TBI, paralysis, and limb amputations. Georgia law entitles motorcycle accident victims to compensatory and general damages. In rare cases, a court may award punitive damages.
Compensatory damages compensate the plaintiff for direct financial losses and costs, such as the following:
General damages consist of the following:
FAQs About Motorcycle Accident In Decatur
Who is at fault for a Decatur motorcycle accident?
Georgia's comparative negligence law allows courts to find one party responsible or divide the liability between two or more parties. Many cases end with liability being split. For instance, one party may be liable for failing to use a turn signal and the other for speeding.
However, defense attorneys often try to unfairly assign blame to the plaintiff in the hopes of reducing the settlement or award. For motorcyclists, this presents a danger of biker bias. Biker bias is an unfounded belief that a motorcyclist must be at fault for an accident or injury. This prejudice against bikers comes from the stigma that they are outlaws or reckless people.
In reality, most motorcyclists are careful drivers, and other careless motorists cause accidents by intruding into the biker's lane, speeding, tailgating, or making a left-hand turn in front of oncoming traffic. Brooks Injury Law blasts biker bias through aggressive litigation. False claims of biker liability cannot stand up in court, so we demand total compensation or take the defendants to trial and win.
What is the motorcycle accident statute of limitations in Decatur, Georgia?
Georgia law requires personal injury lawsuits to be filed within two years of the incident. What Should I Do if an Insurance Company Calls Me? You'll need to report an accident to your insurance company, but you do not need to go into detail.
Always refer an opposing insurance company to your attorney. Their staff is trained to ask questions in an attempt to find information to use against you. Any calls from them are intended to benefit them at your expense.
What if the accident was partly my fault?
Georgia is a comparative negligence state. According to this doctrine, you can collect damages so long the court rules you are less than 50% at fault.
For instance, imagine that you are riding, change lanes, but forget to use your turn signal. A van is approaching the other lane at speed far over the limit, taking you off guard. A court may rule that the van driver is primarily at fault due to a massive speed limit violation, and you are partly at fault for failing to signal.
In such a case, the court may rule the van driver is 80% at fault and you are 20% at fault. If you sustained $100,000 in damages, 20% of that is deducted from your award, leaving you with $80,000.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Most cases settle in 1-2 years, depending on whether they go as far as depositions. Many cases resolve after depositions, but a minority goes on to trial. Trial cases, including appeals, can lengthen the process by several years.
How much does a Decatur motorcycle accident attorney cost?
Brooks Injury Law takes motorcycle accident cases on contingency fees. This payment arrangement requires no upfront or out-of-pocket payments. You pay nothing unless you collect a settlement or award.
Contact Decatur Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Brooks Injury Law has been fighting for personal injury cases for a long time in Georgia. We fight to protect biker rights. Call now for a free case evaluation.