Motorcycle accidents are different than car accidents because the motorcyclist is much more exposed to injury and death than a car driver. Because of the nature of the vehicles, motorcycles may also be missed, leading to a larger number of accidents. Call us today to get started with your motorcycle accident claim – you can reach our office at 404-442-9000. We have recovered millions for our genuinely injured clients, and we have successfully defended many companies. We are experienced and ready to help.
How common are injuries in a motorcycle accident?
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an agency of the federal government with a mission to improve traffic safety, prevent injuries, and save lives.
Our Atlanta, Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers will review the statistics below.
NHTSA maintains statistics on motorcycle accidents in the United States.
- Deaths. In 2018, there were 4,985 motorcyclists killed. While motorcyclists remain overrepresented in fatal accidents, this was a 5% decrease from 2017. In 2017, there were 5,172 folks killed in motor bike accidents. The number has fluctuated between the 4,500 and 5,500 for the last 10 years. As compared to cars, motorcyclists have 6 times the fatality rate than passenger car occupants.
- Injuries. In 2017, there were approximately 89,000 injuries to motorcyclists from car wrecks. This was down from 104,000 in 2016. For the prior 10 years, the injuries in motor cycle accidents have been between approximately 80,000 and 105,000.
- Helmets. Helmets are lifesavers in motorcycle accidents. The NHTSA estimates that helmets save the lives of motorcycle riders 37% of the time, and motorcycle passengers 41% of the time. This means that, for every 100 motorcycle fatalities without helmets, 37 of the drivers and 41 of the passengers, respectively, would have been saved had all 100 worn a helmet.
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents in Atlanta?
Each motorcycle accident is going to be different and depends on the facts and circumstances peculiar to it. However, statistics show some common trends in bike wrecks.
The following are some statistics from NHTSA on common causes of motor vehicle accidents.
- Cities. Urban areas account for 60% of all motorcycle accidents. Rural locations account for only 40 percent.
- Roadway. Somewhat surprisingly, 91% of all motorcycle fatalities occur on non-interstate roads. This is compared to 9% on interstates. In addition, fatalities are nearly twice as common at non-intersection locations, as opposed to intersections.
- Other Vehicles. Just over half (57%) of motorcycle accidents resulting in death occur with other vehicles on the roadway. The remaining accidents (43%) are single vehicle accidents involving only the motorcycle.
- Speeding. Speed is a common factor in motorcycle accidents. This can be speeding by the motorcyclist or the other vehicles. The NHTSA estimates that motorcyclists were speeding in 32% of fatal accidents. On the other hand, tractor trailer drivers were speeding in 7% and light truck drivers in 14% of fatal accidents. Just because someone is speeding does not mean the case is lost automatically. It depends on the facts and circumstances.
- Alcohol. Like with any crash, if there is alcohol involved, it will substantially increase the chance of an accident and fatality.
- Weather. The weather does not appear to be as big of a factor. Approximately 97% of motorcycle accidents resulting in death occur on clear conditions, as opposed to rainy or stormy conditions. This is likely because most motorcyclists ride outside of stormy weather.
What to do if you or a family member has been in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta?
If you or a family member are involved in an Atlanta motorcycle accident, here are the steps you should take.
- Check on everyone at the scene. The first step is always to make sure that everyone is OK and help in any way you can. This includes making sure you are OK, and the other passengers and drivers are OK.
- Call 911. It sounds a little cliché, but a quick call to 911 is essential if there is a serious motorcycle accident. Call 911 immediately after checking on folks.
- Preserve any evidence. Take photographs of the vehicles, the roadway, the conditions, the skid marks, anything accident related. Get the contact information of witnesses. Witnesses often leave the scene shortly after the accident.
- Get medical help. After a motorcycle accident, the motorcyclist should always be checked out by a doctor. The motorcyclist is too exposed to risk not receiving a full assessment. Even if the bike rider or bike passenger feels good, they should be checked out by a doctor.
- Notify your insurance company. Many insurers require immediate notice after an accident. Failing to notify them can result in a loss of coverage. That said, before signing any documents or giving a recorded statement, it is best to consult an attorney.
- Research and Find an Experienced Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney. Finding the right lawyer can be hard. We have a step by step guide for how to separate attorneys that know what they’re doing with those that don’t.
How much are motorcycle accident claims worth in Atlanta?
This is a very understandable question to have, for both plaintiffs and defendants.
The truth is: there is no magic formula for valuing a case. It depends on the liability, injuries, and whether the accident caused those injuries.
In a motorcycle accident, determining liability (who is at fault) will be based on the facts and circumstances of the accident.
This may include:
- The roadway
- Speed of the vehicles
- Lane of travel,
- Presence of other vehicles
- Working order of the vehicles
This is why it is important to hire a reputable Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer shortly after the accident. These facts may be difficult, if not impossible, to gather a long time after the accident.
As for damages, one of the things that generally separates a motorcycle crash from a car crash, is the severity of the injuries.
In general, the more significant injuries suffered, the more potential damages to recover in a motorcycle accident case.
Causation means that the damages suffered must have been due to the accident.
It can’t be based on something unrelated like a condition you were born with or got due to natural wear and tear.
This factor will also play into case value.
What damages can be claimed in an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawsuit?
The damages that will be claimed are based on personal injury.
A property damage claim could also be made, but generally speaking, an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney will not get involved in property damage as the appraised value of the motorcycle is generally a matter of fact, but for a little wiggle room either way.
As for personal injury, the damages claimed will be:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering.
The medical bills are those bills that are reasonable and incurred as a result of the treatment.
Lost wages are any time missed from work which resulted in decreased earnings.
This can also be decreased earning capacity in the future, in the event of an injury that limits the person’s ability to work in the future.
Pain and suffering is left to the “enlightened conscience of the jury.”
This means that the jury can award whatever it wants.
This is often the largest portion of damages awarded in a case.
That is why it is important to hire an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer with a proven track record.
What is the time limit to file a claim in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta?
Generally, you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
This time limit can be significantly shortened or lengthened depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
It is very important to not wait until the last minute, as the statute of limitations will forever bar a claim when it applies.
How can an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney help me?
A Georgia motorcycle accident attorney can assist you in preserving evidence, evaluating the claim, negotiating a resolution, and fighting a lawsuit if necessary.
A serious injury case should never be handled without an attorney.
What areas do we serve?
Our office is located in Atlanta, Georgia. We routinely practice throughout the State of Georgia. We can help you if your case is anywhere in the state.
Here are some example case results:
- We have resolved hundreds of defense cases within our valuation, either through settlement or trial.
- For plaintiff cases, our results speak for themselves. We received a verdict in excess of $27 million in 2018, for example.
One of the best ways to know if your lawyer will treat you right is to listen to prior clients.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Atlanta
If you were injured in a serious motorcycle accident, you should reach out to an experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney for help with your case.
Together, we will pursue your due compensation and hold the negligent party accountable.
We offer free, no-obligation case consultations.