Motorcycle riders have a particularly high risk of serious injury when they get involved in accidents on the road. Road rash and whiplash are often the least a motorcyclist can expect to experience in a crash, and more severe impacts—especially those involving commuter cars—may cause catastrophic and life-altering harm.
Fortunately, if your motorcycle accident occurred because another driver was negligent, a personal injury attorney could help you pursue compensation from that reckless or careless individual for every injury and loss you suffered. Working with an experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer is usually the best way to increase your odds of recovering compensation for damages from a wreck.
Just as there are many different traffic laws that motor vehicle operators in Georgia must obey, there are numerous safety regulations that apply specifically to motorcycle riders. For example, Official Code of Georgia §40-6-311 prohibits motorcycle operators from sitting or carrying passengers anywhere except on a regular seat, and O.C.G.A. §40-6-315 requires every motorcycle rider of any age in the State of Georgia to wear protective headgear at all times while riding.
If another driver violates the duty of care they owe to every other person sharing the road with them, any motorcyclist injured as a result could file suit against that driver based on their legal negligence. Additionally, any motorcyclist who failed to obey motorcycle laws themselves may have their available damages reduced even if they were not primarily at fault.
Under O.C.G.A. §51-12-33, a civil court can reduce a plaintiff’s recoverable compensation by whatever percentage of fault they bear for their own accident, or bar them from recovery altogether if they are 50 percent or more at fault. In addition to proving negligence on the part of the defendant(s) in a case, a seasoned Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney could also work on a plaintiff’s behalf to contest allegations of comparative fault made against them.
Beyond the modified comparative fault system under which Georgia civil courts operate, another legal roadblock that commonly hinders recovery following motorcycle accidents is the statute of limitations. According to O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, most plaintiffs seeking compensation for a personal injury in Georgia have only two years following the date their accident occurred in which to file suit.
If a prospective plaintiff fails to adhere to this statutory filing deadline, their case will likely be time-barred, meaning that they would be ineligible to recover compensation for any of their injuries or losses no matter how clear the defendant’s fault may be. Once retained, a qualified motorcycle crash lawyer in Atlanta could determine what filing deadlines apply to a particular case and ensure a plaintiff’s claim is filed on time.
Motorcycle accidents are often particularly devastating incidents even compared to other types of motor vehicle wrecks. In addition to severe injuries resulting in expensive medical bills and missed time off work, motorcycle crash victims often end up dealing with significant non-economic losses too, including loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and various losses related to a permanent disability or disfigurement.
While it is technically possible to pursue civil litigation without professional legal guidance, you would put yourself at a significant—and unnecessary—disadvantage by doing so. Give yourself and your case a better chance at success by hiring an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer. Call today to get started.