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Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Alpharetta
Motorcycling isn’t just a mode of transportation—it’s an experience and, for many, a lifestyle. For enthusiasts, it is almost like meditating because of the intense focus you have to maintain while navigating the roadways. Every twist of the wrist releases adrenaline, with endorphins following, and there are some beautiful scenic rides in the Alpharetta area. The sense of community among motorcycle riders is also something that makes the lifestyle attractive.
However, the thrill of riding the open road on a motorcycle has many known dangers. Even with the best of care, you’re inherently more likely to be injured in the event of an accident on a motorcycle. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you’re probably wondering how to find the best motorcycle accident lawyer in Alpharetta. We’re here to help because we know just how traumatizing it is to get hurt in an accident, particularly if you’re not to blame.
Is it a good idea to talk to insurance companies after a motorcycle accident?
You might be tempted to deal with the other party’s insurance adjuster to get things moving along quicker. Still, you have to realize that the insurance companies are not on your side. You have to be aware that even if they say they’re not taking a formal statement, they still write down everything you say. For example, they may ask a simple question like, “how are you?” and you might reply “fine” out of courtesy. They may take that response as an implication you’re not really that hurt or are recovering quickly.
Insurance adjusters have come up with many clever tricks to get people to talk. Of course, they are going to hold fixing your bike as a carrot and will say you need to make a statement to get that process started. However, they didn’t promise they were going to fix it. That’s why you need a competent motorcycle crash attorney by your side. An attorney can advise you on how to help your claim, and most importantly, they talk to the insurance company on your behalf.
Is it worth hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,014 motorcyclists died in 2019, and 84,000 people were injured. Motorcycle injuries are typically more severe than passenger car injuries because of the lack of protection. The more severely you’ve been injured, the more medical expenses you’re going to have.
While it’s nice to have someone else negotiate on your behalf while you’re recovering, a motorcycle crash lawyer can also help assign liability, collect valuable evidence, and assign a dollar amount for your losses. Suppose the insurance companies don’t cover the total cost of your expenses. In that case, they can help you make a claim against the negligent driver personally. If a fair settlement can’t be reached, they can represent you in a personal injury lawsuit.
If you’re worried about the costs of an attorney, you should know that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you have no upfront out-of-pocket costs. Instead, your lawyer will be paid for their efforts when you’ve either received a fair settlement or favorable verdict. They don’t get paid until you do, and it’s in the form of a percentage of your award.
What kind of compensation could I receive?
In a motorcycle accident claim, you may be able to recover money for both economic and noneconomic costs. Here’s a breakdown of economic costs you may be able to recover:
- Medical care
- Treatments and therapy
- Out-of-pocket medical costs
- Medical devices you need at home
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capability if disabled
After a severe injury, noneconomic damages can sometimes feel even more significant because it’s usually tied to a long-term change in your life. Here are some noneconomic damages you may be able to recover:
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Pain and suffering
If a loved one dies in a motorcycle accident, the surviving family members could also file a wrongful death claim and could be entitled to:
- Burial expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Medical costs if the deceased received any
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of support for dependents
What are common motorcycle crash injuries you can be compensated for?
Since motorcyclists have very little in the form of protection, they’re more likely to be severely injured. Here are some common injuries from this kind of accident and how they can impact your daily life moving forward.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Even if you were wearing a helmet, a TBI can still occur and cause impairment to your motor function, cognitive function, and physical sensations like hearing and seeing.
Spinal cord injury: This type of injury can impact your ability to move and feel sensations. In the worst scenario, you may be facing permanent paralysis and will require ongoing care, modifications to your home, and expensive equipment such as a motorized wheelchair.
Broken bones: Broken bones can make it difficult to work and take care of yourself or others. You may require multiple surgeries and physical therapy.
Internal injuries: An internal injury can be a silent killer, so you should always seek medical care after a motorcycle accident. Furthermore, medical care can provide documentation that can aid your case.
Road rash: Medical care is essential for this type of injury to make sure the wounds don’t become infected and to remove any debris that may have lodged beneath the skin.
Do I have a claim if I was hurt riding as a passenger on a motorcycle?
If you were injured as a motorcycle passenger, the good news is that you can make a claim, and in almost all instances, you cannot be held at fault. The tricky thing is that you may have to make a claim against the motorcycle operator if they were fully or partially at fault. In the latter instance, you may be able to make a claim against both parties to receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
How is a motorcycle accident claim different from a car accident claim?
As previously stated, motorcycle accidents typically result in more severe injuries when compared to car accidents. This makes everything higher stakes for you and the insurance companies. Motorcyclists are more likely to be hit because car drivers can’t see them. One of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes is when a driver turns left in the path of an oncoming motorcyclist or changes lanes right into the motorcycle. Motorcyclists are also more prone to road hazards like potholes or loose gravel. In this case, it may be possible to hold the city or county responsible for your injuries.
Even though Georgia has had a mandatory helmet law in place since 1969, you may still be entitled to compensation even if you weren’t wearing one and the other party was at fault. In this scenario, the issue you will likely face is that the insurance company will argue their party is not fully liable because you made yourself more vulnerable to injury. However, with one of the best motorcycle injury lawyers in Alpharetta on your side, you may be able to counter this argument, depending on a variety of factors, including where you were injured. For example, if you broke a leg, a helmet wouldn’t have helped that.
Who is at fault in most motorcycle accidents?
In a large number of motorcycle accident cases, the fault lies partially or totally on drivers of passenger vehicles. This happens because the driver is reckless in some manner like speeding, brake checking, failure to yield, and distracted driving. Left-turn accidents account for about 50% of these accidents.
However, sometimes all or some of the fault lies with the motorcycle operator, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some motorcyclists may engage in aggressive riding behavior like speeding and zipping in and out of traffic. If you believe you may be all or partially to blame for your motorcycle accident, it still doesn’t hurt to at least speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Alpharetta. They may be able to identify circumstances you didn’t even think about, such as road conditions that may have been a contributing factor.
What is Georgia’s contributory and comparative negligence in a motorcycle accident claim?
Contributory negligence is a defense tactic used by parties in a negligence claim, which essentially means “I was at fault, but so were you.” Under this defense, they try to say that you failed to exercise a reasonable amount of care for your own safety. Thus, that should bar you from receiving compensation. Using this tactic requires that the other party just proves you are a little at fault.
Because contributory negligence is an unreasonably strict application that makes plaintiffs unable to recover any damages if they were slightly at fault, Georgia has adopted comparative negligence. This means the plaintiff’s negligence is viewed proportionally, and therefore not wholly barred from receiving compensation. However, if the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault for the accident, they will not be able to receive compensation from the defendant.
Why should I work with a Morgan & Morgan accident lawyer in Alpharetta?
We understand the trauma you’ve endured, and you may feel helpless and frustrated with handling the insurance companies all while trying to recover from your injuries. Bills may be piling up, and you may not even be able to work at this time. Hiring the best motorcycle accident lawyer is a simple way to get things under control. At Morgan & Morgan, we have a long history of helping motorcycle accident victims just like yourself recover funds to make life moving forward easier for you and your family.
In many cases, we’ve been able to recover 20 times more than what was offered pre-trial. Because of our reputation for winning verdicts for our clients, the insurance companies have taken note. We understand the tricks insurance companies use to devalue or deny legitimate claims and we hold them accountable.
You don’t have to be alone in this. We are tireless advocates for those who have been harmed by the negligence of others and promise to handle your case with compassion, dignity and fight hard for your rights. Get started by contacting us for a free, no-risk case evaluation today. There’s no fee if we don’t win.