When you’re in an automobile, you have thousands of pounds of protection surrounding you during an accident. A motorcycle doesn’t have the same safety net. Some people mistakenly assume that motorcycles are the primary cause of accidents, but it’s often times the driver of the other vehicle’s negligence that causes injury to the motorcycle rider.
It’s not uncommon for vehicle and truck drivers to miss seeing a motorcycle rider because he or she is in their blind spot or the driver is looking for another vehicle, not a motorcycle. Either way, drivers have a duty to check their blind spots before changing lanes or pulling into a roadway. Motorcycle riders also have a duty to follow the laws as well and ensure they are looking out for approaching vehicles.
Because many vehicle drivers and insurance companies are automatically prejudiced against motorcycle riders, it’s important that you speak with a skilled Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney who can ensure your rights are protected throughout the claims process. If you were not at fault for the accident, then you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and physical damages.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines motorcycles as both two- or three-wheeled motorcycles, mopeds, mini-bikes, pocket bikes, scooters, and off-road motorcycles. It is estimated that motorcycle fatalities are 28 times more likely to occur than fatalities involving other types of vehicles.
The IIHS recently released their 2017 statistics on motorcycle crashes, and there was a total of 5,172 motorcyclist fatalities that year. Motorcycle accidents had been declining since the early 1980s but started to increase in 1998 and continued rising for another 10 years. Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle accident related fatalities in 2017, which is more than double the total number of motorcycle-related fatalities in 1997.
Georgia is one of a growing handful of states that require that all riders should wear a helmet at all times. In the Georgia Statutes, Section 40-6-315, it states that no one will operator or ride on a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear that is in compliance with standards set forth by the commissioner of public safety. The only exclusion to this is anyone riding in a motorized cart, in an enclosed cab, or on a three-wheeled motorcycle that is only used for agricultural purposes.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and were not taken to the hospital immediately from the scene, take photos of the damage, accident location, and the vehicle that struck you. These are important to the investigation. Include any skid marks, debris, signals/stop signs, etc. that may help prove liability of the other driver.
Next, you want to ensure a police report is filed. If you are injured at the time of the loss, you should contact the police immediately to respond. In more serious accidents, your motorcycle may not even be drivable and will need to be towed from the scene.
Once you’ve sought medical treatment, the next thing you should do is contact an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney who can ensure an investigation is opened right away. This will help preserve evidence as well. You should not attempt to deal with the other side on your own as they do not have your best interests in mind.
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Shani O. Brooks, P.C. today at 404-692-5404 to schedule a consultation.