North Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Helping You Recover From Your Injuries in the Areas Surrounding Cartersville, Woodstock & Chattanooga
Every year in the state of Georgia, hundreds of motorcyclists are killed in crashes and thousands more are injured. (Statistics from the Georgia CODES Project – hyperlink opens a PDF). Nationwide, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists die in crashes each year.
Even among those who survive, many motorcyclists end up with serious injuries and permanent disabilities.
At Pritchard Injury Firm, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer is passionate about representing motorcyclists who have been injured in crashes. We can help you to navigate the claims process after a motorcycle accident.
All you have to do is call Pritchard Injury Firm today.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
While the driver of a standard passenger vehicle has numerous protections that help to prevent injuries, such as a seatbelt, airbags, and a steel frame surrounding them, motorcyclists are not as fortunate.
Sadly, many motorcyclists are not even wearing helmets at the time their accidents take place.
Because there is often nothing to absorb the force of a crash except the motorcyclist’s body, motorcycle accidents are frequently fatal. When a motorcyclist is not killed in a crash, they can suffer serious injuries, including:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- External injuries, including road rash
- Bone fracture injuries
- Crush and amputation injuries
A motorcycle accident can result in psychological injuries, as well. Any motorcyclist who is involved in a crash can develop anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially when their crash leads to serious injuries.
Understanding Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists can suffer devastating physical injuries when they collide with other motor vehicles or hit stationary objects, like telephone poles. At our firm, we have seen clients suffer from:
- Fractures, particularly to the arms, hands, legs, and feet: A simple broken bone might only need a cast, but many fractures require pins, screws, or plates to hold the bones together. Broken bones can also damage surrounding tissue.
- Road rash: This is a type of friction burn that occurs when exposed skin scrapes along asphalt. Road rash can require skin grafts and lead to infections.
- Back injuries: A motorcyclist can strain, sprain, or pull a muscle, ligament, or tendon in the back. An accident can also lead to a herniated disc or cracked vertebrae. Any of these injuries can cause complications and a lifetime of chronic pain.
- Biker’s arm: This injury occurs when a motorcyclist braces for impact and instinctively wraps an arm around their chest. If the motorcyclist lands on their arm, the trauma can lead to nerve damage and weakness in the affected limb.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Concussions and other TBIs can lead to problems with mobility, balance, speech, memory, and cognition. A helmet will dramatically reduce the likelihood of a TBI but cannot eliminate the risk entirely.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs): Any damage to the spinal cord can affect your central nervous system and cause paralysis below the point of injury.
No matter how serious these injuries are, they are not the worst possible outcome. More than 80% of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. If you have lost a loved one to a motorcycle crash, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
There are several types of motorcycle accidents, many of which are caused by the careless or reckless behavior of a motor vehicle driver. At Pritchard Injury Firm, we have seen clients injured in the following types of accidents:
- Head-on crashes: The driver of a vehicle might pass someone illegally and collide head on with a motorcyclist traveling the opposite direction or drift into oncoming traffic and collide with a biker.
- Left-hand turn accidents: Many motorists cannot see motorcycles, or they misjudge the vehicle’s speed. As a result, they pull in front of bikers and make crashes unavoidable or strike motorcyclists with their vehicles directly.
- Rear-end collisions: A motorist might crash into the back of a motorcycle if they are following too closely or fail to see the motorcyclist stopped at a red light or stop sign.
- Lane splitting accidents: Lane splitting refers to the practice of riding in between lanes. While it is illegal in Georgia, drivers can still be responsible for unsafe lane changes.
- Dooring: If a driver opens their car door into a motorcyclist’s path, the results can be devastating.
When motorists behave negligently, Georgia law allows injured bikers to recover compensation for their injuries. Monetary damages can cover medical care, lost wages, and property damage and help account for pain and suffering and emotional distress. Your award will generally depend on the severity of your injuries and nature of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. We can help you work with insurance companies across Georgia to seek the best possible settlement or verdict.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
One reason motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in an accident than passenger vehicle occupants is that motorcycles are smaller, and therefore harder to see.
Drivers’ failure to see motorcyclists is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents.
A driver could fail to see a motorcyclist because they neglected to check their blind spot, they were distracted, or they performed an illegal lane change.
Other causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Impaired driving
- Texting and driving
- Other distracted driving behaviors
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper turns
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Motorcycle lane-splitting
- Failing to follow the rules of the road
If you have been harmed by any of the negligent behaviors above, our North Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer can help.
Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet While Riding in Georgia?
If you ride a motorcycle in Georgia, it is important to know the state's laws regarding helmet use. According to Georgia law, all riders are required to wear a motorcycle helmet. The helmet has to meet the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
It is important to note that not all helmets meet these standards, so it is crucial to ensure your helmet is DOT certified. The DOT certification makes sure the helmet is properly designed and able to protect the rider in the event of an accident.
While there are some exceptions to the helmet law in Georgia, they are not applicable to most riders. For example, a rider on a three-wheeled motorcycle used for agricultural purposes is not required to wear a helmet. However, this exception is specific and not relevant to the vast majority of riders.
If you choose to not wear a helmet in Georgia, you could be fined up to $1,000, face a misdemeanor charge, and/or have to do mandatory community service. Therefore, it is imperative to comply with the helmet law to avoid any legal consequences.
Aside from the potentially life saving benefits and legal consequences of wearing a helmet, in the unfortunate event you are in an accident and are not wearing a helmet, you may have trouble getting the compensation you’re owed by the other driver. This is because an argument could be made that you contributed to your injuries by choosing to not wear a helmet.
How Popular Are Motorcycles in Georgia?
According to World Atlas, Georgia is home to more than 200,000 registered motorcycles, and we are the 13th most popular state for motorcyclists.
Georgia’s beautiful weather and dramatic scenery makes motorcycling a popular hobby, and thousands of people ride into the Peach state on motorcycles from out of town.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists remain highly vulnerable on Georgia roadways. Each year, countless bikers are injured in accidents that are not their fault, and they often incur hospital bills they cannot afford.
If you have been injured in motorcycle collision in Georgia, reach out to our knowledgeable motorcycle attorneys right away by calling (470) 577-8152.
What Is the Average Motorcycle Accident Worth?
Every motorcycle accident lawsuit is unique, and we cannot make an estimate without getting to know the details of your case and collecting evidence. Simply put, there’s no average amount a case is worth because there are no average cases.
What Steps Should I Take Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident?
First, make sure everyone is okay. If someone appears to be injured, contact emergency services (dial 911) immediately. While you wait for authorities to arrive, you can take photos and exchange information with the other party. Even if you do not leave the scene of the accident in an ambulance, you should get a thorough medical evaluation. If you have serious injuries, call an attorney to get started with the claims process.
Should I Get an Accident Report After a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes. Request a copy of the accident report at the scene of your collision. If you are unable to do this, ask your attorney to get a copy of the report, as it can be very helpful for your case.
What If I Have More Questions?
You can ask us any remaining questions during a free, no-risk initial consultation. Call us at (470) 577-8152 today.
Tips on Safe Motorcycle Practices
While many accidents are caused by a motor vehicle driver’s negligence, some motorcycle accidents could be prevented if the motorcyclist employed safer riding tactics.
Tips for staying safe while riding include:
- Wear proper gear – your helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment at your disposal.
- Do not split lanes – and practice safe riding practices whether on your own or in a group.
- Ride sober – If you’ve had a drink or consumed drugs, don’t get on your motorcycle.
- Know the law – following the law, including speed limits, yield-related, and merging-related rules could save your life.
- Make sure other drivers can see you – stay out of blind spots and make eye contact with a driver before performing a maneuver, such as a lane changing or turning.
Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Georgia
Georgia follows an at-fault system of recovery, which means drivers who cause accidents are responsible for paying for them.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to file a claim for damages. You can recover from the at-fault driver or their insurance policy, but most claims go through insurance companies.
In order to recover compensation, you’ll need to prove negligence. Proving negligence means showing:
- The at-fault party (the defendant) owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty
- You were injured and suffered damages
- Your injuries and losses are the result of the defendant’s breach (via proximate cause)
In addition to your right to claim damages, you also maintain the right to reject a settlement offer if you do not believe that it fully compensates you, as well the right to negotiate your claim.
If you cannot reach a settlement offer that is fair, you maintain the right to file a lawsuit for damages. Our legal team can help you recover fair compensation, and we are not afraid to go to court to do so.
Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you have been in a motorcycle crash, you’re probably dealing with serious injuries.
In addition to your high medical expenses, you may be looking at property damage, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and other economic losses. These are, of course, in addition to your noneconomic losses, such pain and suffering and emotional distress.
When you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, they can help you via:
- Investigating your case
- Determining and proving fault
- Calculating your damages
- Handling all paperwork and documentation associated with your claim
- Reviewing a settlement offer
- Negotiating your settlement
- Advising you of your rights and legal options
Most claims settle before going to trial. Our North Georgia motorcycle accident firm can help you determine whether or not a settlement is fair. If we cannot reach a settlement, we can help you with the next steps and, if appropriate, file a lawsuit on your behalf.
How Can I Find a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near Me?
There are dozens of motorcycle accident attorneys throughout Georgia – you need one who is nearby, focuses on motorcycle accident law, and has experience handling cases like yours. Fortunately, you do not have to look further than Pritchard Injury Firm.
Before you hire us or decide on an attorney, we encourage you to schedule a free case consultation with our firm. We can discuss the details of your case, and you can get to know what working with our compassionate legal team will be like.
Pritchard Injury Firm helps victims with serious injuries from motorcycle accidents in North Georgia but we can also help in Bartow County, Cobb County, Cherokee County and throughout the great state of Georgia. If you can’t make it to us, we can come to you.