The nature of motorcycles, where the rider has little to no protection, means that any accidents involving motorcycles can result in severe injuries or even fatality, especially for the rider. Moreover, even if you’re the most experienced and cautious of riders in Athens, you can get involved in a motorcycle accident, sustaining severe injuries with long-term effects on your physical and mental well-being, financial health, and ability to enjoy life. You might be entitled to compensation if you’ve been involved in an accident. Call an Athens motorcycle accident lawyer today.
At the Rafi Law Firm, you will work with an Athens motorcycle accident lawyer who understands that recovering from a motorcycle accident can be an overwhelming experience. You may be dealing with physical injuries, mounting medical bills, and the emotional distress of the accident recovery process. With that in mind, our dedicated team is here to guide you through this challenging process of seeking compensation, providing you with the legal support and expertise you need for a successful claim.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. Contact us today to speak with an auto accident attorney risk-free and learn how we can help you secure the motorcycle accident compensation you deserve. Our goal is to help you navigate the legal complexities so that you can focus on your recovery and well-being.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics In Georgia
Motorcycle accidents can have devastating consequences, and Athens is no exception. Numerous individuals are injured or lose their lives every year due to these accidents. According to the Georgia motorcycle traffic crashes and fatalities in 2019 report released by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), motorcyclists were overrepresented in traffic accidents and fatalities.
While motorcycles represented 2% of all registered vehicles, they represented 21% of all driver fatalities and 11% of all traffic fatalities. Moreover, motorcycle fatalities have risen gradually. For instance, from 2017 to 2019, motorcyclist fatalities have risen by 22%. In 2017, there were 139 motorcyclist deaths. During 2018, there were 154. In 2019, there were 170, and in 2020, there were 179 fatalities. The U.S. Department of Transportation recorded one fatality involving a motorcycle accident in Athens in 2021.
However, numerous other accidents did not involve a loss of life but were nonetheless serious. As a motorcyclist, you might swerve to avoid another road vehicle, be it a person or car, and crash.
While you might walk away from a motorcycle accident, it does not mean everything is fine. The resulting injuries might affect your enjoyment of life and ability to make a living. And with the recent trend of rising vehicular accidents, there is a cause for alarm that our roads might be unsafe for motorcyclists as they are especially vulnerable to severe injuries.
Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents
In most accidents involving motorcycles, many people automatically assume that the rider is the main contributor and culpable for the accident. However, in reality, most motorcycle accidents are caused by the neglect and carelessness of other road users.
Motorcycle accidents typically occur for various reasons, including:
- Distracted Driving: When drivers are texting, talking on the phone, or engaging in other distractions, they cannot concentrate on what is happening around them. As such, they are more likely to overlook motorcyclists sharing the road, given the motorcycle’s smaller size compared to other road users.
- Driving Under the Influence: Impaired driving significantly increases the risk of accidents, making holding those responsible accountable for their actions essential. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has cited driving under the influence as the most common cause of accidents in Georgia.
- Equipment Failure: Defective parts or inadequate maintenance on either vehicle can lead to serious accidents. We’ll work to determine liability in such cases.
- Motorists Not Seeing Motorcyclists: Due to their smaller size, motorcyclists might go unnoticed by other drivers, leading to collisions.
- Unexpected Obstacles: Hazardous road conditions such as potholes, debris, or even pedestrians and animals on the road can pose threats to motorcyclists. Identifying liability in such instances is crucial for securing compensation.
- Dooring: This is an accident involving a car passenger opening the door into the path of a rider. The unsuspecting rider typically does not have enough time to react and stop to avoid colliding with the door.
Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include tailgating, limited visibility, inexperienced drivers, failure to yield (typically when making left turns), illegal and unsafe passing, and speeding.
Common Types of Injuries
Motorcycle accidents often result in injuries such as:
- Broken Bones: The impact of a collision can lead to fractures and severe bone injuries. The ribcage is particularly susceptible. With no seatbelt or airbag to secure you, there is a high risk of wiping out from your motorcycle and fracturing a rib. A cracked rib fractured rib can snowball into other serious conditions, such as punctured lungs, arteries, or heart, which is life-threatening.
- Road Rash, Lacerations, And Burns: Skin abrasions from sliding on the road’s surface can cause painful road rash and potential infections.
- Brain Injuries: Head injuries are a serious concern, especially when the rider is not wearing helmets. Even with helmets, motorcyclists are vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injury can because debilitating and life-changing, affecting your cognitive and mental well-being (there is a risk of suffering from mood swings and depression following a motorbike accident) as well as body-control functions.
- Back And Spinal Cord Injuries: There are many ways a motorcycle accident might affect your back and spine adversely. From herniated discs, soft tissue trauma, whiplash, and vertebrae fracture, to paralysis, a motorcycle accident can cause serious injuries that can result in long-term disabilities, impacting your quality of life.
- Neck Injuries: These types of injuries affect your neck’s muscles and joints. A motorcycle accident can cause soft tissue trauma, whiplash, and herniated disk, similar to back injuries.
Motorcycle-Specific Laws In Georgia
Motorcyclists are required to follow all traffic laws like all passenger car drivers. In Georgia, there are specific regulations and laws that pertain to motorcycle riders that they must adhere to while on the road. For instance, motorcyclists cannot operate while wearing socks only. You must wear proper footwear. Motorcycles must also operate with their tail, and headlights always turned on.
Riders and their passengers must wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets. For eye protection, state law requires motorcycles to use a windshield to provide adequate eye protection, or motorcyclists should use approved eyewear or wear a helmet with a visor.
Motorcyclists cannot carry passengers if doing interferes with their view, having two hands on the handlebar or the normal operation of the motorcycle. The same goes for packages, articles, or bundles; you cannot carry any item that affects your view, having two hands on the handlebars or operating normally.
An experienced Athens motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm understands these laws are crucial for building a strong case, and our firm has the expertise to navigate these complexities.
How Is Fault Determined In A Motorcycle Accident in Athens?
As motorcyclists, the odds are stacked against you when handling cases involving accidents. For starters, only 2% of registered vehicles are motorcycles. As such, if the case were to go to trial, there is little likelihood the jury would have motorcyclists. Moreover, there is an inherent bias against motorcyclists, and it is safe to assume that many jurors will sympathize with the other party instead of the motorcyclist.
That said, it is essential to appreciate that every accident is unique. We thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine fault. Whether it’s the negligence of another driver, road conditions, or faulty equipment, we’ll work to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Our team of motorcycle accident attorneys works with you to understand the intricacies of the accidents to unearth all the facts. Importantly, we prepare you and all witnesses to make a case for your claim to the jurors.
What Compensation Can a Athens motorcycle accident lawyer help me Receive For My Injuries/Damages?
As mentioned above, motorcyclists are vulnerable to accidents, which can have severe consequences such as personal, financial, and emotional harm. The mounting hospital bills occasioned by hospitalization and recovery therapy, the lost wages, and the inability to be productive as you once were can be detrimental to your financial well-being. As such, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including:
- Also known as compensatory charges, these cover medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of motorcycle repairs, and property damage.
- They are also referred to as emotional damages. They compensate the plaintiff for pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Given that calculating the emotion of distress, pain, and suffering is not easy or straightforward, you need experience motorcycle accident attorneys to guide and help you get what you deserve.
- In cases of gross negligence, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault party. However, these damages are only awarded to a plaintiff if they prove the at-fault party disregarded the consequences of his/her actions or acted egregiously.
Should I Receive Medical Attention Even if I Am Not Hurt?
Even if you don’t feel immediate pain, seeking medical attention is crucial. Some injuries may not manifest right away; your safety and health are the priority. Ensure you follow your doctor’s orders and adhere to the treatment plan.
Moreover, timely medical documentation is vital for your case. Receiving medical attention immediately after the accident will ensure any realized and un-manifested injuries are documented as a consequence of the accident.
How Much Is My Accident Claim Worth? Calculating Your Claim’s Worth
After a motorcycle accident, insurance companies are quick to undervalue or dismiss your claim. After all, it is in their interest to reduce the payout. With that in mind, you should not allow the insurance company to undervalue your claim.
The value of your claim depends on various factors, including:
- Medical bills,
- Impairment of your future earning potential,
- Pain and suffering,
- Lost income, and
- The impact of the accident on your life.
Our experienced team will assess these aspects to determine the appropriate compensation.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim? Time Limit For Filing A Claim
It’s essential to act promptly. In Georgia, there’s a statute of limitations that restricts the time you have to file a claim. While there are exceptions to the statute of limitation, they are limited. Typically, you should lodge your motorcycle accident lawsuit in Georgia within two years. Don’t risk losing your chance for compensation—reach out to us as soon as possible.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied? Understanding Denied Claims
There are a myriad of reasons your claim may be denied. For instance, the insurance company may deem that you do not have enough evidence to support your claim. Every insurance company conducts investigations to determine liability. Another reason your case may be denied includes the claim’s value exceeding policy.
If your claim is denied, it’s not the end. Our skilled attorneys can review your case, identify issues, and work to appeal or re-file your claim if necessary.
Can My Attorney File The Claim For Me?
In a nutshell, yes. Our attorneys are adept at handling motorcycle and motor vehicle accident claim cases. Not only can we file the case for you, but we will see it through to its conclusion. We have rendered Athens motorcycle accident services for years and have become attuned to the intricacies of such cases, right from the formative stages of collecting evidence to negotiating for fair compensation to prosecuting the case in court to seek justice and fair compensation. You can trust an Athens motorcycle accident lawyer working at the Rafi Law Firm to get the job done right the first time.
How An Attorney Can Help
Our legal team can:
- Collect Evidence: We gather crucial evidence to build a strong case.
- Assess Liability: Identifying who’s at fault is pivotal for your claim’s success.
- Calculate Damages: We’ll ensure you seek compensation for all applicable damages.
- Negotiate Settlements: We’ll negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement.
- Trial Representation: If needed, we’re ready to take your case to trial.
But, Isn’t Hiring An Attorney Expensive?
Hiring an experienced Rafi Law Firm Athens motorcycle accident lawyer won’t burden you financially. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay us if we win your case. You do not have to dig deep into your savings or sell your property to seek justice to pay up-front or on an hourly basis. We will work with you to enforce your right, and you will only pay after the successful conclusion of the case.
Contact Rafi Law Firm Today to Speak With a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near You!
At Rafi Law Firm, we’re dedicated to advocating for motorcycle accident victims in Athens, Georgia. Let us shoulder the legal complexities while you focus on recovery. Contact us now for a free consultation. Your well-being and rightful compensation are our priorities.