Motorcycles are considered motor vehicles under Georgia law, and riders are assigned the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers. However, motorcycle accidents are usually more consequential for the motorcycle rider than the larger vehicle’s occupants. Without seatbelts or airbags, a bike offers few safety features to protect the rider from serious injury or being ejected from the bike. For this reason, it’s unfortunately very common for motorcyclists to suffer severe injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal bleeding or injuries, and more.
Additionally, people sometimes are biased toward motorcyclists and may think they’re prone to “dangerous” behavior. As a result, some motorcycle riders may be seen as being at fault in an accident that was the car driver’s responsibility. This can be a problem if your claim ultimately goes to trial and a jury has to decide who is responsible for your injuries.
How Can You Improve Your Chances of Having a Successful Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Here are some ways to ensure your claim is handled correctly and that you avoid some of the difficulties of navigating a motorcycle accident claim:
Don’t Wait to Start the Claims Process
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can. Although you usually have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit after a motorcycle accident, getting started sooner is advantageous. Your attorney and their investigative team will need time to assemble evidence to support your case. Frequently, we find that witnesses’ memories fade with time, and doorbell or traffic camera footage gets erased. The sooner we begin looking for these things, the more likely we’ll find them.
Don’t Talk to the Insurance Company Without Consulting Your Lawyer
There are many potential pitfalls when you speak with an insurance claims adjuster. This is true after any accident, but following a motorcycle crash, the adjuster may be especially eager to blame you. Because motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries, the claim will likely be costly. At the same time, the insurance company doesn’t have to prove the accident was entirely your fault to reduce the amount of money they have to pay you.
How does this work? Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that allowances are made for the many situations where both parties contribute to an accident. If the plaintiff (the injured party) is found to be partly responsible for a motorcycle accident, they can still collect damages if their responsibility is less than 50 percent. The award will be reduced by the percentage of liability assigned to the plaintiff. As a result, if the insurance carrier can paint you as being even 10 or 15 percent responsible, they can lower their liability.
In a case that goes to court, the jury will be asked to assign a percentage of fault to each party in the accident, but most motorcycle crash claims settle out of court. Still, the perceived percentage of fault is an essential component of settlement negotiations. If the insurance company believes they have evidence you contributed significantly to the accident, they will be less likely to agree to a fair settlement and more inclined to hold out for a court case.
When people talk to an insurance adjuster, they often think they’re explaining why the accident wasn’t their fault. But these calls are usually recorded on the other end, and the insurance adjuster may comb through the conversation, looking for anything they can twist to fit the narrative that the motorcycle rider was at fault. Again, they know they don’t have to prove you were 100 percent to blame for the accident – they can create just enough doubt to make it seem likely a jury would assign some percentage of fault. They might even try to tell you that your actions contributed to the accident – and in some cases, the insurance company successfully convinces the plaintiff of their fault even when it’s not true!
The solution to this tricky situation is to avoid making a statement to the insurance carrier until you’ve had a chance to talk to a Georgia motorcycle accident attorney. In many cases, we can handle the insurance adjuster for you. If you do need to make a statement to the insurer, we’ll help you prepare.
Know What Your Claim is Really Worth
The insurance companies have another method of reducing their liability: They make you an offer and hope you won’t refuse.
This works because the insurer offers you X amount for your claim, and often X is not enough to cover all your damages (although it might seem like it is at the time). If you accept the offer, you’ll sign a document saying that the insurer has no more responsibility in this matter now that the claim is paid. Then if you realize later you have more expenses related to the accident or your injuries, you won’t be able to collect any more damages from them.
Calculating damages in a motorcycle accident requires experience, skill, and time. Your attorney will carefully review all possible damages with you, including medical bills (current and future), lost income and/or earning potential, pain and suffering, and repair or replacement costs for your bike. If you lost a loved one in a bike crash, you can make a wrongful death claim for medical expenses, funeral, and burial expenses, lost earning potential, and loss of consortium or companionship. We’ll ask questions and help you figure out what the insurance company should pay, then fight to help you get it.
What If You Can’t Afford a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
You should not have to accept less money for your injuries because the accident exhausted your financial resources. We understand that hospital bills, bike repairs, and missed time at work can drain your funds in a hurry, and we don’t want to add to your problems. Like most personal injury lawyers, we work on a contingency basis – there are no fees until we successfully settle your case, so you don’t have to worry about paying a retainer. Your initial consultation is also free. If you’ve talked to a motorcycle accident lawyer who asked for a large fee upfront, we recommend seeking a second opinion before you make a decision.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Law Firm Today
Many people have questions and concerns after a bike crash, including, “Was I at fault?” Some may think they don’t have any recourse if they made a mistake leading up to the crash, or they might have been hit by an uninsured driver. If you believe you might be at fault, it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney – often, people who blame themselves for an accident are mistaken. An attorney may also help you find other possible sources of compensation if you were at fault or if you were hit by an unidentified or uninsured motorist.
Before you give up on getting the compensation you deserve or accept an offer from an insurance company, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation. Attorney Ali Awad and his experienced team of lawyers, investigators, and support staff will answer your questions and explore all options for seeking compensation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.