Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most commonly asked questions regarding motorcycle accidents and injury. If you have a question that is not covered below, please contact us.
- Contact Police: Give a brief statement to the police officer giving your side of the accident. Admit nothing, sign nothing. Even if you think you were in the wrong, the other driver may be equally responsible. Make certain that a Police Report is filed.
- Identify the Driver: Obtain the other driver’s name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle driven. Ask to see their driver’s license and the name of the insurance company and the policy number.
- Witnesses: Get as much information as possible from everyone who observed the accident. Their name, phone number(s), address, etc. Ask the witnesses write down a statement of what they observed regarding the accident.
- Seek Medical Treatment: If you are the injured party, seek medical treatment immediately. Maintain records of all medical services provided and the bills for those services.
- Insurance: Contact your Insurance Agency as required. DO NOT speak to the other driver’s Insurance Company!
- Hire a Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Attorney.
It is always beneficial to hire an attorney who can settle your motorcycle damage case and who understands motorcycle values. Motorcycle Accident Investigation, Litigation, and Reconstruction require an attorney with experience.
A Motorcycle Personal Injury Attorney is best qualified to obtain the maximum recovery for your damages. He will expedite the investigation of the accident: obtain a police report, get photographs of your injuries, take statements from witnesses, obtain information regarding the insurance coverage of all parties involved, and request medical and medical billing records as they are available.
A Motorcycle Personal Injury Attorney will consider many factors in determining the maximum recovery of your case:
- The value of your motorcycle, accessories, and personal items.
- The cost of all medical treatment presently, and the consideration of future medical treatment.
- The payment of lost wages and benefits, and the consideration of any future loss of earnings.
- An Attorney has the experience to evaluate the compensation for past and future pain and suffering, and possibly, permanent disability value
A Motorcycle Personal Injury Attorney will come to you if you are unable to come to the office because of your injuries.
- We offer free legal consultations.
- We do not charge for your motorcycle damage recovery, and personal injury fees are on a contingency basis (a percentage of the recovery). In other words, we don’t get paid unless you do.
Rider Education. The Hurt Report states that 92% of Motorcycle Riders involved in accidents were self-taught or learned from friends or family. Rider Education is the single best weapon of defense against motorcycle accidents. Rider Education is not just for the beginner, but also for all riders-no matter how long you have been riding. Click HERE for a link to The Georgia Department of Driver Services, and a list of motorcycle training locations.
UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
- In many areas, almost 30% of the drivers are uninsured! It is important to protect yourself by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage pays for medical expenses, property damage (motorcycle, accessories, and clothing), and for pain and suffering and/or disability to the extent of your policy.
- Underinsured motorist coverage begins when the other driver’s insurance is depleted. Should you be injured to the extent that you are in the hospital for several weeks or you miss work for an extended length of time, and experience great pain, suffering, and/or disability, underinsured motorist insurance picks up to pay for these damages to the policy’s limits. It will also cover the damage to your motorcycle up to your policy limits beyond the coverage of the other driver’s insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is the most important coverage a motorcyclist can purchase, and should be purchased in the highest limits of coverage possible. You should consult your insurance agent for this type of insurance and ask about any exclusion on this type of policy.
It will depend on who is at fault for the crash. Sometimes a motorcyclist is to blame for their own collision. For example, you might have been distracted and run a red light, whereupon you hit a car going through the intersection on a green light. That makes you responsible for the crash.
Possibly. Failure to wear a helmet doesn’t mean you are prevented from seeking compensation. After all, a negligent driver is still to blame for hitting you or forcing you off the road. We seek compensation to hold them accountable. Nonetheless, failure to wear a helmet is a type of negligence, so you bear some fault for your injuries. In Georgia, you cannot be 50% or more liable for the accident to receive compensation. You should meet with our law firm to discuss your accident in detail.
No. Lane splitting is only legal in the state of California – not Georgia, as of 2023. If you engage in lane splitting, then you might be partially to blame for your accident. We highly recommend following the law and the rules of the road. That will enable you to receive the maximum compensation possible. DO NOT SPLIT LANES!
Yes. Sometimes you and a driver will share at least some responsibility for the crash. For example, you might have cut them off but they were speeding. Or you were distracted while riding your bike but they refused to yield.
The rules in Georgia are pretty simple:
· If you are 50% or more at fault, you can’t sue for compensation.
· Even if you are less than 50% at fault, then your compensation gets reduced proportionally.
Let’s say your damages were $80,000, but you are 40% responsible. That means you will only receive 60% of that $80,000, or $48,000. As you can see, comparative fault can reduce your compensation significantly. And if you are 50% at fault or more? You will receive $0. That is a tough pill to swallow.
Probably your best bet is to reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. You definitely will benefit from our experience. People who try to negotiate their own claims tend to receive less, often because they really don’t understand what their claim is worth. Few people properly value pain and suffering, for example. Without a lawyer, you might also admit to making some mistake which causes you to receive nothing at all.
Yes. You need to report most accidents in Georgia, and you could lose your license if you fail to do so. There are also advantages to calling the police:
· An officer can investigate and possibly demand that an intoxicated driver take a chemical test.
· The officer can talk to witnesses and get their contact information. You might be too hurt to do that yourself.
· The officer will file a crash report, which insurance adjusters find very helpful. This report contains important background facts, like the date, time, and location of the accident.
No! You should never accept any settlement offer until you meet with our law firm. We can review the offer and see if it’s fair. There’s a good chance it isn’t. Few insurance companies want to offer fair compensation, so they make a very low initial offer and hope you will grab it. Call our firm so we can review.
Not likely. Every settlement comes with a release of claims that you are required to sign. That’s the bargain at the heart of a settlement. In exchange for compensation, you agree not to sue the defendant for the same accident. This is a valid contract, which means it will hold up in court. For this reason, you absolutely need to get the most compensation you can with your settlement. You only get one chance.
Yes. For example, a car might have hit you. But the car could have had a mechanical defect because a mechanic did shoddy work. In that case, both the driver and the mechanic could be at fault.
If you were hit by someone working, then you could sue the person’s employer as well. This often happens when our clients get hit by a tractor-trailer or garbage truck. We sue the driver and their employer, too.
Possibly. It helps if we can identify the driver who struck you. Try to remember any details that you can. Maybe you saw a piece of the license plate or at least the color of the vehicle and the direction it fled. You can share this information with the police. If we find the defendant, we can sue them.
Also, if you have uninsured motorist insurance, you can make a claim on that policy for a hit and run. Call our law firm for assistance.
The government needs to keep roads reasonably safe for the public. If the road is a state highway, then Georgia is usually responsible. Otherwise, most cities are responsible for the maintenance of the roads in their city limits. This duty includes fixing potholes when the government becomes aware of them.
Yes. Road rash is an abrasion that many bikers suffer when they fall off their bikes. You might have a flap of skin lifted from your arm or leg. This injury carries a high risk of infection, which you must treat. Also, road rash sometimes requires skin grafts, which can leave scars. You should definitely go to the hospital and have a doctor look at your road rash.
Every case is different. Generally, our firm has had success negotiating settlements for our clients. Sometimes, however, we need to file a lawsuit to get any money out of the defendant or their insurance company. There are common reasons why we end up needing to sue:
· The defendant denies any liability or says most of the blame lies with you.
· The defendant won’t offer a fair amount of compensation, possibly because they do not believe you are injured.
· The insurance company is dragging its feet and not acting in good faith to investigate or settle a claim.
Our motorcycle accident lawyer has the right experience to go to court and fight for a settlement. We always try to settle so that you can avoid the stress of litigation. But settling on fair terms is our priority, and sometimes going to court is the only way.
We have settled some cases in as little as 6 months. Others take longer. There are some considerations:
· The severity of your injuries. We might wait to negotiate a settlement because we want to see how much medical care you need. Remember, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills.
· Disagreements about fault. When both sides are far apart on the critical fact of who is to blame, it takes time to carefully work through the evidence and find other witnesses. We might spend several months working through everything.
· The defendant’s motivation to settle. Some are very eager to get a case done with. This is true if the defendant is high-profile, like a business whose delivery driver struck you. Negative publicity sometimes pushes defendants to settle.
Nobody can wait 6-12 months for a settlement. You need medical care now! There are different ways to pay for your care as you wait for a settlement:
· Health insurance. Your job could offer health insurance as a benefit, or you are on Medicare. Other people buy their own policy.
· Out-of-pocket. You might have to pay for care using cash or credit cards.
· Medical payments insurance. Med-pay insurance is optional in Georgia, but it will pay for medical care to treat accident injuries on a no-fault basis.
· Agreement with a medical provider. A doctor might agree to treat you in exchange for a lien on your settlement.
Discuss your options with our lawyer. We understand that getting care is critical, so you should consider all options, especially if you are uninsured.
Pain and suffering damages make up a large part of many settlements. It’s vital that you avoid accepting too little compensation for the physical pain, depression, irritability, suffering, and distress that you feel. Of course, you can expect the defendant to minimize your pain. We won’t. We negotiate aggressively for a fair amount of compensation, and we use our experience to identify how much victims with similar injuries have received.