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Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents typically happen when other people drive carelessly and irresponsibly. When a motorcycle operator or passenger is involved in a serious accident, they have extremely limited protection, except for their motorcycle helmets. If the motorcycle rider strikes the ground in their accident, they're very likely to suffer bone fractures, head injuries, and other debilitating medical complications. In some situations, a motorcycle accident victim may even suffer fatal injuries.

If you or the person you love suffered injuries in a recent motorcycle collision, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney representing you during every stage of your case. Without effective legal representation, the chances are good that the at-fault party's insurance company will take advantage of you and undervalue your case.

A knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney will be aware of the tricks and tactics that insurance companies use and can aggressively advocate in support of your legal interests. Specifically, your lawyer can handle all settlement negotiations with insurance company adjusters and, if necessary, litigate your case to a favorable resolution in court.

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Motorcycle Accidents and Their Common Causes

Motorcycle crash scene with helmet on ground and injured person in background.

Motorcycle collisions often result from the negligence of other drivers and various factors that contribute to unsafe road conditions. Understanding how negligence plays a role in these accidents is crucial for promoting motorcycle safety. Here are several ways that the negligence of other drivers and external factors can lead to motorcycle collisions:

  • Failure to Yield the Right-of-way to Cyclists – Negligent drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists at traffic intersections, while merging lanes, or when making turns. This lack of awareness or disregard for the presence of motorcycles can lead to collisions.
  • Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is a significant contributor to motorcycle collisions. Drivers using cellular phones, adjusting in-car entertainment systems, or engaging in other distractions may fail to notice motorcycles, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Lane Changes and Merging – Motorcycles are often less visible in blind spots, and negligent drivers may fail to check their mirrors or signals properly before switching lanes or merging. This lack of awareness can result in collisions, as motorcyclists may not have sufficient time to react.
  • Speeding and Reckless Driving – Drivers exceeding speed limits or engaging in reckless behaviors seriously threaten motorcyclists. High speeds can significantly reduce a driver's reaction time, making it difficult to avoid collisions with motorcycles – especially in situations where quick maneuvers and split-second decisions are necessary.
  • Drunk or Impaired Driving – Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs affects a driver's judgment, coordination, and reaction time. Impaired drivers are far more likely than sober drivers to cause accidents, including collisions with motorcycles.
  • Opening Car Doors – Negligent actions, such as opening car doors without checking for approaching motorcycles, can lead to serious collisions. This commonly occurs in urban areas and parking lots, where motorcyclists may be filtering through traffic.
  • Road Hazards and Poor Conditions – External factors like road hazards, potholes, or poor road conditions can contribute to motorcycle collisions. Negligence in maintaining and repairing roads increases the risk of accidents, especially for motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable to uneven surfaces.
  • Inadequate Signage and Traffic Control – Negligence in providing proper signage, traffic signals, and road markings can also contribute to motorcycle collisions. Ambiguities in the roadway design or inadequate warnings can catch motorcyclists off guard.
  • Vehicle Defects – In some cases, collisions may occur due to defects in other vehicles or components. Negligence on the part of manufacturers or maintenance providers may lead to malfunctions, increasing the risk of accidents involving motorcycles.
  • Lack of Driver Education and Awareness – Negligence in driver education and awareness campaigns frequently contributes to the lack of understanding about safely sharing the road with motorcycles. Drivers who are not adequately informed about motorcyclists' unique challenges are more likely to engage in behaviors that result in collisions.

Promoting awareness, adhering to traffic rules, and advocating for motorcycle safety are essential in addressing the negligence that can cause motorcycle collisions. Both other drivers and policymakers play vital roles in creating safer road environments for the benefit of motorcyclists.

Injuries that May Occur in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle crashes can result in a variety of injuries due to the vulnerability of riders without the protection of an enclosed vehicle. The most common motorcycle crash injuries include:

If you suffered any of these injuries in a motorcycle crash, your personal injury lawyer can file an insurance claim on your behalf. At the same time, you attend the necessary medical appointments and physical therapy sessions to get better.

Evidence Necessary to Prove a Motorcycle Accident Case 

Successfully proving a motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit requires gathering comprehensive evidence to establish liability and quantify the damages that you suffered. Key pieces of evidence necessary for a strong case include:

Police officer comforting a distressed individual at a motorcycle accident scene.
  • Police Reports – Obtain a copy of the police report filed at the motorcycle accident scene. This document typically includes details about the parties involved, statements from eyewitnesses (if any), the officer's assessment of fault, and any citations the officer issued to the responsible driver (and the reasons for those citations). The police report is foundational evidence in any motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit.
  • Photographs and Video Footage – Capture and collect photographs and videos from the accident scene. Document the positions of all roadway conditions, involved vehicles, relevant road signs, and traffic signal positions. Visual evidence can provide crucial context and help reconstruct the events that caused the motorcycle accident.
  • Medical Records and Bills – Comprehensive medical records are vital evidence in establishing the extent of an accident victim's injuries and the associated medical expenses. Include documentation of emergency room visits, surgeries, diagnostic tests, therapy, and ongoing medical treatment. Medical bills also serve as evidence of an accident victim's economic damages.
  • Witness Statements – Eyewitness testimony can corroborate the events, shed light on the actions of the involved parties, and provide additional perspectives on liability or fault. 
  • Eyewitness Testimony –Video or audio recordings can capture detailed accounts of the accident, providing a compelling case narrative.
  • Accident Scene Analysis – A motorcycle accident attorney can hire professionals to conduct an accident scene analysis. This involves evaluating skid marks, road conditions, and any evidence left at the scene. The analysis can help reconstruct the accident and provide valuable insights into the factors contributing to the motorcycle crash.
  • Driver Statements – Statements made by the drivers involved in the motorcycle accident can be crucial. These may include admissions of fault, apologies, or any statements indicating awareness of the circumstances. A lawyer may obtain recorded or written statements to support the accident victim's version of events.
  • Professional Testimony – A motorcycle accident lawyer can engage medical professionals, accident-skilled reconstructionists, or other relevant professionals to provide testimony. Their experience can help clarify the dynamics of the accident, demonstrate the causation between the crash and injuries, and assess the long-term effect on the injured party's life.
  • Documentation of Property Damage – Document any damage to the accident victim's motorcycle and any other property involved in the crash. Photographs and repair estimates can effectively demonstrate the overall severity of the collision.
  • Cell Phone Records – If distracted driving is likely, a motorcycle accident lawyer can obtain cell phone records to check for phone use during the collision. Phone records can serve as evidence of negligence if the at-fault party was engaging in distracted driving.
  • Employment Records – If the injured party has experienced a loss of income due to the accident, gather employment records, pay stubs, and documentation of work hours to quantify lost income.

Building a robust case requires meticulous attention to detail and thorough evidence collection. Working with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can further strengthen the presentation of this evidence, ensuring a comprehensive and compelling argument in support of your motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit.

How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Assist?

A motorcycle accident attorney plays a crucial role in helping individuals who have suffered injuries in an accident due to someone else's negligence. Here are some ways that a motorcycle accident lawyer can provide valuable assistance during a personal injury claim or lawsuit:

  • Legal Expertise and Guidance – Motorcycle accident attorneys possess specialized knowledge of personal injury laws, traffic regulations, and legal procedures. They can also guide the injured party's rights, potential legal actions, and the steps necessary to pursue a successful personal injury case or lawsuit.
  • Case Evaluation and Strategy – Attorneys conduct thorough evaluations of motorcycle accident cases. They assess the evidence, determine liability, and develop a strategic legal plan tailored to the specific circumstances of the accident. This strategic approach increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
  • Evidence Gathering and Preservation – Attorneys are skilled in collecting and preserving crucial evidence to support a motorcycle accident victim's case. This includes obtaining witness statements, police reports, medical bills, medical records, and other documentation for establishing liability and damages.
  • Negotiation with Insurance Companies – Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging since settlement adjusters often seek to minimize monetary payouts to injured motorcycle accident victims. A qualified motorcycle accident attorney can handle all negotiations with adjusters to ensure the accident victim receives fair compensation for their lost earnings, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  • Calculating Damages – Experienced personal injury attorneys can also assist with accurately calculating damages that the injured party suffered. This involves quantifying medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost earnings, and non-economic damages like mental distress, pain, and suffering. Properly assessing these damages is crucial for seeking appropriate compensation in a claim or lawsuit.
  • Litigation Representation – If negotiations fail to reach a fair settlement, attorneys are prepared to take the case to court. They can represent injured motorcycle accident victims during all legal proceedings, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate for their rights before a judge or jury. 
  • Navigating Legal Deadlines – Motorcycle accident claims are subject to statutes of limitations that impose strict deadlines for filing lawsuits in the court system. An attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit promptly and efficiently on the injured accident victim's behalf.  
  • Emotional Support and Communication – Dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be emotionally challenging. Attorneys provide support and reassurance to their accident-victim clients, alleviating their stress and anxiety. They also handle communication with involved parties, allowing the injured party to focus on recovery.
  • Professional Testimony and Consultation – Attorneys can also leverage professional testimony and consultation when necessary. This may involve engaging accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, or other skilled individuals who can provide professional opinions on the dynamics of the accident, causation, and the extent of an accident victim's injuries.
  • Maximizing Compensation – A motorcycle accident attorney is dedicated to maximizing the monetary compensation their accident victim client receives. They explore all avenues for recovery, including identifying available insurance coverage, pursuing third-party claims, and ensuring that the injured party receives the full extent of compensation they are entitled to recover in their case.

Engaging a motorcycle accident attorney early on is essential for navigating the legal complexities associated with a personal injury case. Your lawyer can handle every step of the legal process for you so that you can focus your attention on making a full medical recovery.

Pursuing Monetary Damages after a Motorcycle Crash

Compensable damages for motorcycle accident injuries and losses encompass various economic and non-economic aspects, aiming to provide financial redress for the injured motorcyclist's harm. Here are the main types of compensable damages that are often recoverable in motorcycle accident cases:

  • Past and future related medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent disability (such as from a paralysis injury)
  • Funeral expenses (wrongful death cases)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Compensatory damages seek to return the accident victim to a comparable state as if the motorcycle crash had not occurred. The specific types and amounts of damages awarded depend upon the unique circumstances of each accident case, the severity of the motorcyclist's injuries, and the overall effect on the injured individual's life.

Seeking prompt legal guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney is essential to recovering the full monetary compensation you deserve.

Talk with a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today 

If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash, you need to involve a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney in your case as quickly as possible. Your personal injury attorney can handle all dealings with the insurance company and will work diligently to maximize the settlement or litigation compensation you receive for your losses.

Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert - Owner & Attorney

Attorney Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert was seriously injured in a collision and experienced firsthand dealing with uncooperative insurance companies. She knows what it is like to feel overwhelmed and under-educated about your rights after a collision. That is why she has dedicated this firm to fighting for accident victims and their loved ones. The goal of The Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC is to provide you with excellent legal advice, based on our experience in representing injured automobile drivers and passengers from all across the State of Georgia.

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