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Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Alpharetta, GA
While one can't come up with an exhaustive list of reasons motorcycle riders love what they do, there are some common explanations for why people enjoy this form of transportation. Motorcycle enthusiasts may list the sense of camaraderie at the top, followed by the low cost of ownership, the sense of adventure, the ease of finding a parking space, and the ability to effortlessly navigate traffic in most instances.
In the Alpharetta, Georgia area, miles of picturesque roads make for some amazing riding opportunities. However, as everyone knows, motorcycle ownership comes with some inherent risks. If you've been in an accident, you may be doing your research on local motorcycle accident lawyers. Alpharetta, GA motorcycle riders can rest easy with the help of the best motorcycle accident lawyers found at the law offices of Morgan & Morgan. Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience making sure victims receive fair and just compensation for the harm that has come to them through the negligence of another party.
Are motorcycles statistically more dangerous?
Evidence shows that riding a motorcycle, in fact, is more dangerous because of the threat of significant injuries when an accident occurs. This is simply because motorcyclists do not have the same amount of protection that a vehicle driver has, not that they are poor drivers.
Out of 8,596,314 registered motorcycle owners, 84,000 were injured in the year 2019. The data further shows 13 car crashes out of every 100,000 results in a fatality compared to 72 per 100,000 for motorcyclists involved in an accident. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to have a fatal accident than vehicle drivers for every mile traveled.
What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?
A motorcycle crash is a complicated event that may involve human, vehicle, and environmental elements that contribute to the accident. While each accident is unique, almost all motorcycle crashes end with some sort of injury to the motorcyclist and passengers if they had one. A motorcycle on its own provides no protection to the head, and ejection from the motorcycle can lead to devastating consequences because the occupant strikes an object on the roadway with their bare body.
A motorcycle lacks safety measures that come standard in a car, like airbags and safety belts. And motorcycles are more challenging to see than cars because of their smaller size. Whatever advantages a motorcycle rider has through maneuverability and agility are substantially lessened when a crash occurs.
In some instances, a motorcycle crash happens because of the rider's lack of experience or road conditions that end in a single-vehicle crash. Since riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous than driving a car, riders have to be ultra-aware of road conditions. The weather and other factors may leave them vulnerable.
Every year, about one-third of motorcycle accidents happen because a motorist turns in front of oncoming motorcyclists. The motorcyclist either hits the vehicle or loses control of the motorcycle while trying to avoid the vehicle.
Unsafe lane changes account for many motorcycle accidents because the motorist neglected to check his or her blind spot or to use a signal when changing lanes. Because motorcycles are harder to see, errant motorists may open their car door in the pathway of an oncoming motorcyclist resulting in an accident. As with all roadway accidents, speeding is a top contender because a speeding driver has less time to react to other motorist's moves and can't stop in time to prevent disaster.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state. Yet, each year, it remains one of the leading causes of accidents. Under Georgia state law, lane splitting, while being particularly attractive to motorcyclists, is prohibited because of how dangerous it is.
Sudden stopping can lead to serious injuries or the death of a motorcyclist. This kind of rear-end accident usually occurs when a motorist is driving too closely behind the motorcyclist. Dangerous road conditions make it difficult for any motorist. Still, motorcycle riders are particularly prone to accidents when they come upon potholes, crumbling pavement, or debris in the middle of the road. In some instances, it could be possible to hold the city or county liable for poorly maintained roads that lead to an accident or death.
And finally, motorcycle defects can cause accidents if the motorcycle is poorly designed or has malfunctioning parts. It may be possible to hold the motorcycle manufacturer liable for causing an accident in a scenario like this.
How many motorcycle deaths are in the US each year?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died on the roadways of the United States. That number is slightly down from the previous year of 50,038. Furthermore, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die from an accident compared to their passenger car occupant counterparts.
Wearing helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017 and are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries. Suppose you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident. In that case, there might be a way to be compensated through a wrongful death claim if the other driver was negligent.
What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim or a lawsuit is a special scenario where a person dies because of another party's negligence or intentional wrongful acts. This type of legal action allows the deceased dependants or family to gain compensation for their loss. In all states, the spouse may bring this claim, and in Alpharetta, GA, the surviving children may bring a lawsuit if there is no spouse. If the deceased had no children or spouse, the deceased parents could file. If there is no surviving parent, the deceased’s executor of the estate can bring a claim.
A wrongful death claim is a civil matter. It has a much lower bar to prove responsibility than a criminal case. It must be proven that the defendant is liable by a preponderance of the evidence rather than guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, as is the case with criminal prosecution. A preponderance of the evidence essentially means that there is a greater than 50% chance the claim is accurate.
If the lawsuit is successful, the Georgia courts will order the defendant to pay damages which can include the following:
- Lost care, counsel, companionship, and advice
- Lost wages and benefits the deceased could have provided if they had lived
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Other expenses that were necessary and related to the person's injury and death
Wrongful death lawsuits are subject to the statute of limitations of Georgia, which is two years from the date of death. Suppose the wrongdoer was charged with a crime like vehicular homicide. In that case, the statute of limitations is suspended until the criminal trial has concluded for a maximum of six years. And finally, if the deceased estate has not been probated, Georgia residents have up to five years.
What happens in a personal injury case for a motorcycle accident?
After being injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to seek compensation if the other driver was negligent. Georgia is a modified comparative fault state which means each motorist can be assigned a percentage of the blame. This can reduce the amount of compensation you can get if the other party can prove you share some of the blame.
Because of Georgia negligence laws, insurance companies often try to use known stereotypes of motorcyclists being reckless or driving dangerously so they can justify reducing the amount of money to pay out or outright deny the claim. That's why it's so important to use motorcycle accident lawyers. Alpharetta, GA motorcycle accident victims should never talk to an insurance company without legal counsel.
When the fault lies with the other party, you may still not have enough to cover your medical expenses, lost work, and the pain and suffering you've endured. A personal injury claim may be the only way to go after the at-fault party's assets to recover what's due to you.
What to look for in a motorcycle accident lawyer
Finding the best motorcycle accident lawyer in Alpharetta may seem intimidating since you have so much at stake, but here are some tips for finding the top professional for your case.
Do they specialize in motorcycle accidents? Not all lawyers are the same. Just because they work in personal injury doesn't necessarily mean they understand the unique nuances of a motorcycle injury claim. Like the bias insurance companies and even jurors may have towards motorcyclists, as mentioned previously.
Are they near you? Some law firms are very big and operate in many states, as does Morgan & Morgan. However, we don't refer our cases because we have over 700 trial-ready lawyers, including many in the state of Georgia that specialize in motorcycle accident claims.
What is their reputation? When you hire anyone to provide a service for you, their reputation matters. Take a look at the reviews on our website and the success rate our lawyers have. With over 30-years of experience in personal injury law and billions recovered for our clients, we feel we have a stellar reputation for winning for our clients and handling our cases with compassion and dignity.
Do they work on a contingency basis? Working on a contingency basis is extremely important, particularly when you're probably swamped with medical bills and may not even be able to work. A contingency basis means you have no out-of-pocket expenses upfront, yet still have a lawyer fighting for your rights. Our motorcycle accident attorneys only get paid if they win your case. A percentage of your award goes to pay off their hard work in the end.
Are you ready to fight for your rights after a motorcycle accident?
If you're seeking legal counsel after being injured in a motorcycle accident, our lawyers are ready to speak with you to evaluate your case. We have the experience, the resources, and the passion for ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today, and let's get the ball rolling in your favor.