What a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
Getting medical care after a motor vehicle wreck can feel like a full-time job. During the critical months after a major collision, you need a strong legal advocate so that you can focus on your health and recovery, not legal matters. Upon hiring an Alpharetta motorcycle wreck lawyer, that attorney begins an important investigation and takes over each aspect of your legal case.
Specifically, actions that your attorney may take include:
- Investigating the collision by visiting the crash site and tracking down video footage of the wreck
- Using technology such as drones or 3D cameras to capture the scene.
- Figuring out who is at fault
- Hiring expert witnesses to analyze evidence and to prove negligence
- Getting you to the medical specialists
- Gathering medical records and bills
- Calculating your total damages
- Negotiating with the insurance company to get you a fair offer
- Filing a lawsuit where necessary
- Representing you in legal hearings, proceedings, and at trial
An experienced Alpharetta motorcycle wreck attorney will understand all of the legal deadlines which apply to your case and the pitfalls of insurance litigation. Remember, the jury never gets to make decisions about a case if that case gets kicked out of court on a technicality. Getting to a jury, and telling them your story, is our responsibility.
What You Can Expect from a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
While it is true that all accidents involving motor vehicles have the potential to cause death or serious injury, people who drive or ride on a motorcycle face even greater risks. They are extremely vulnerable in a collision with a truck, bus, car, or other vehicle with more than two wheels. This is easy to understand when you consider that the typical car weighs more than 4,000 pounds. Unfortunately, motorcyclists often sustain some of the most serious and life-altering types of personal injuries such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and multiple broken bones. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer early on can help you obtain the financial compensation you need as you recover. Recovering from an accident is stressful enough but it can feel overwhelming when you have bills to pay and don’t know when or if you will be able to return to work. Morrison & Hughes understands your dilemma and will aggressively pursue your right to a fair financial settlement.
- A common tactic is for insurance agents to intentionally make you a low offer hoping that your circumstances are desperate enough to compel you to accept it
- You have the legal right to refuse the offer and hire a motorcycle accident attorney to help you fight for better financial compensation.
- It’s up to you to find a lawyer and file a personal injury case as soon as possible
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?
In Georgia, you generally have up to two years from the date of the motorcycle accident to bring a personal injury claim. If someone you love suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash, you will have two years from the date of their passing, not the date of the accident itself, to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Missing the applicable deadline will prevent you from pursuing your claim and recovering any compensation, so do not wait to get legal advice.
I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet When My Motorcycle Crash Occurred. Can I Still Recover Compensation?
The short answer is, in many scenarios, yes, you can still recover partial compensation. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you were breaking a Georgia traffic law. However, not wearing a helmet does not undo the negligence of the driver who caused your accident. The precise impacts will depend on the specific facts of your case. For example, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury because of the force of impact to your head – some of which arguably could have been mitigated by wearing a helmet – it may be tougher to get full compensation for that specific injury. With that said, we are skilled litigators who understand how to effectively approach cases involving partial fault. We can walk you through how the state’s modified comparative negligence laws may influence what you can recover. No matter your situation, we will work to secure as much compensation as possible.
How Much Is My Georgia Motorcycle Crash Claim Worth?
There are many factors that play into the value of your claim. Knowing how those factors come together and how to make an appropriate demand to the insurance company is the hallmark of an expert motorcycle crash attorney. You and your attorney will need to work together to maximize the fair value of your case, taking into consideration:
- Medical Bills: Almost all of your damages are based on how much medical care you get, including the total cost of your medical bills, and your attendance at medical appointments. In court, proof that you received care quickly and consistently is the key to a bigger verdict.
- Pain & Suffering: In addition to your medical bills, you are also entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, impairment of your activities of daily living, scarring or damage to tattoos, along with other types of benefits based on your pain and suffering. Our experienced Atlanta motorcycle wreck attorneys know exactly how to ask a jury to compensate you for the pain caused by a negligent or drunk driver.
- Who Hit You, and How Much Insurance Do They Have: In Georgia, most drivers carry the State minimum for auto insurance, which is $25,000.00 per person, with a $50,000.00 cap per accident. This means that the negligent driver’s insurance company could be obligated to pay out only $25,000.00 for your injuries, regardless of how hurt you are. By contrast, many commercial vehicles typically have at least $750,000.00 of auto insurance. Likewise, we highly recommend that you purchase “add on” underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. This insurance pays out when the negligent driver’s insurance is inadequate to cover your losses, and it is relatively inexpensive.
- Venue: Putting a value on your case, and what you have lost, is the job of a jury. Your lawsuit’s "venue” is the county where your lawsuit must be filed, and the county where your jury lives, so it can have a big impact on your recovery. A Cobb County, Marietta motorcycle accident may be worth more than a Cherokee County, Woodstock motorcycle accident, but less than a Fulton County, Alpharetta motorcycle accident. In general (but not always) rural juries pay out less than urban (city) juries. Understanding the venue, and how that plays into negotiations is one hallmark of a seasoned Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer.
- Punitive Damages: These are damages meant to punish the other driver. From reckless driving to intoxication to fleeing the scene of the accident, many factors can play into a punitive damages claim. Likewise, your experienced Marietta motorcycle crash attorney will have a deep understanding of insurance bad faith law.
- Death Claims: no amount of money can compensate for a death in the family. However, the law makes certain benefits available to the family or estate of a deceased cyclist in addition to the damages discussed above. These include benefits for funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of future income, and the grief and emotional damage of the death.
- Other Damages: Depending upon your accident, and whether you are married, other damages may be available, such as loss of consortium. If you are unable to work due to your accident, you are entitled to lost wages and possibly a loss of future earning capacity. To get a fuller understanding of your potential recovery, contact one of our local motorcycle accident attorneys.
The passenger on a motorcycle at the time of an accident is almost never at fault for the wreck. If you were the passenger involved in a motorcycle or ATV collision, even if it was a single-vehicle collision, call us to discuss your rights.
What is Unique about Motorcycle and ATV Accidents?ATVs and two-wheeled motor vehicles involve risks that enclosed vehicles don’t face. The rider or passenger is often thrown off the vehicle with extreme force during a motorcycle accident, which can result in severe trauma, including brain injuries, spinal damage, and friction burns (road rash), amongst other things.
With few exceptions, there are no airbags on a motorcycle (unless you have a Honda Goldwing). Likewise, enclosed vehicles have a host of other safety features. Even ATVs with cages lack many of these advanced protections, so when an accident occurs, it is likely to be worse for the rider.
Finally, two-wheeled vehicles face challenges from the elements and road defects that other drivers can ignore without consequences. These are hazards that most drivers miss or don’t understand. In the same way, your average injury lawyer simply doesn’t understand the challenges of motorcycle litigation.
The top-rated motorcycle injury lawyers at Morrison & Hughes know how to keep their eyes on the road, to protect you from legal hazards. Call our experienced Atlanta motorcycle attorneys for your free legal consult at (770) 285-8881