If you own, ride, and love your motorcycle, you know that there are most definitely benefits to being a motorcycle rider. Experiencing the open air, the excitement of travel, not to mention using far less fuel are just a few of the many reasons those who choose to ride motorcycles love the experience so much. However, it is also important to keep in mind the many risks of motorcycle riding and to observe the appropriate safety procedures. Our motorcycle accident lawyer in Alpharetta, Georgia is here for you in the event that you end up in an accident while riding your bike.
When compared to more traditional vehicles such as cars or trucks, motorcycles clearly don’t offer anywhere near the same level of protection. Because of this fact, motorcycle accident lawyers in Alpharetta help many motorcycle accident victims seek compensation for injuries that are far more serious than the scope of the accident would suggest. With its smaller size, lighter weight, and the exposed nature of the bike’s rider, motorcycle accidents carry increased risk of injury to the rider even at slow speeds. As a result, motorcycle wreck lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, will need you to provide as much information as you can about your accident. Contact The Weinstein Firm today for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics from the NHTSA
Each year, the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration in the United States compiles and releases a list of statistics regarding motorcycle accidents state-by-state. These statistics are used to help guide changes to Georgia state law, in order to minimize the number of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents that occur in our state.
As recently as 2012, Georgia saw more than 130 motorcycle crashes which were fatal. This number is down a bit from the previous five-year average of 150, but the 2012 total is still well within the normal range. The takeaway from this according to motorcycle wreck lawyers is that unless things change drastically on our roads, the number of motorcycle crashes is not likely to change very much.
Of these motorcycle fatalities, eight were due to drivers failing to wear a helmet. Helmets are mandatory in the state of Georgia, as any motorcycle accident lawyer near Alpharetta, GA can tell you. Even still, every year there are motorcycle deaths that could have been prevented with the proper use of a helmet. On average, 79 lives every year are saved by Georgia’s helmet law, and any Alpharetta motorcycle accident attorney will tell you that this singular safety step is essential to safety on a motorcycle.
The Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Every vehicle crash is unique, and every motorcycle accident is even more so. Since motorcycles are so lightweight and damage is significant even at low speeds, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of a motorcycle accident. However, the NHTSA discovered, and many motorcycle accident lawyers in Alpharetta concur, that alcohol is a common theme. Driving while intoxicated ranks among the most common factors of any Georgia auto accident, but the proportion of drivers who are impaired in Georgia motorcycle accidents is larger.
Another of the most common factors in Alpharetta, GA motorcycle accidents, lawyers say, is driver negligence. Again, this is a common theme in nearly every auto accident, but in cases involving motorcycles, negligence on the car driver’s part is almost always a factor. According to the NHTSA’s data, nearly 40% of motorcycle crashes occur while a passenger car is turning left, and inadvertently cuts off a motorcycle. In nearly every one of these cases, the car making the turn is found to be at fault according to the Alpharetta GA motorcycle accident lawyers who actually handle the cases.
The third common factor in serious motorcycle accidents in Alpharetta, Georgia is speed. According to the NHTSA, more than 33% of motorcyclists who are involved in a fatal crash are speeding at the time. Comparatively, just under 25% of car drivers are speeding if in a fatal crash. To motorcycle wreck lawyers in Alpharetta, this data would seem to indicate that motorcyclists have some risky driving tendencies. If you are a motorcycle rider, don’t forget that the speed limit also applies to you.
The Most Common Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes
In recent years, there have been new advancements in motorcycle safety gear, which is both bad news and good. On the one hand, when this new equipment is used properly, it can help keep motorcyclists much safer on the road. However, the increasing numbers of motorcycle injuries and fatalities are the sad reason these new innovations are necessary. Motorcycle accident attorneys near Alpharetta know that even with the best safety gear, the possibility of injury or death during a motorcycle accident is still quite significant. So while you should absolutely observe safety practices and wear appropriate gear, don’t place all your faith in it.
In a motorcycle crash, the initial impact may set the events of the crash in motion, but it is only the first in a sequence of impacts in which serious injury or death may occur. After the initial impact, often the driver is thrown and is then at risk of striking environmental elements like trees, guardrails, curbs, other vehicles, and the hard asphalt below. These elements can induce further injuries, and any motorcycle wreck lawyer can assure you that these injuries become very serious very quickly.
Due to the chaos inherent in motorcycle accidents, there are many different kinds of injuries which are sustained by their drivers. However, car accident lawyers in Alpharetta do see certain trends in motorcycle crash injuries and here are a few of the most common:
- Road rash
- Lacerations, scrapes, burns, bruises
- Spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Brain trauma
In many cases, the injuries resulting from a motorcycle crash involve intensive medical care, which can be quite expensive. On top of this, missed wages from recovery time spent not working and the mental and emotional trauma of dealing with this terrible event compound the difficulties. Of course, all of these outlined above pale in comparison with the unthinkable reality of losing a loved one to a fatal motorcycle accident.
Safety Tips from An Alpharetta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle wreck lawyers in Alpharetta are only too familiar with the significant cost — monetary and non-monetary — of motorcycle crashes. Serious injuries and death are far too common in these accidents, and often the cyclist who survives suffers the most serious injuries while the driver of the other vehicle suffers no injuries at all.
Drivers operating any vehicle from a bike to a semi-truck are charged with the duty to share the road and see what other vehicles are safe — and that includes motorcycles. Here are a few safety tips from our motorcycle accident attorneys in Alpharetta:
Don’t Drive Distracted
If your phone rings, a text message arrives, you need to plug in a destination to navigation, or any sort of opportunity for distraction presents itself, don’t do it! Pull over and stop if you need to view anything on a mobile device.
Never try to “share” a lane with a motorcycle
Even though they are smaller, a motorcycle is legally recognized as a vehicle and they deserve the same full lane of traffic as you.
Leave plenty of room
Make sure there is room between yourself and any vehicle in front of you, especially motorcycles. This will ensure that you have time to react if the vehicle in front swerves, slows, or stops.
Keep your eyes peeled and your mirrors well aimed
Make sure you check all your mirrors and physically turn and look at blind spots before you try to change lanes. The smaller nature of motorcycles helps them to hide from rear-view mirrors sometimes.
Georgia’s Helmet Laws
According to Consumer Reports, there were more than 5,000 deaths in accidents across the country in 2015, an increase of 10% over previous years. Fatalities in motorcycle accidents across the nation trend upward every year, and though Georgia’s statistics do not seem to be increasing, they also aren’t going down. It is the responsibility of everyone on the road to make sure that the streets in Alpharetta, GA are safe for everyone.
Motorcycle accident lawyers near Alpharetta have differing opinions as to the reasons for fatal motorcycle accidents across the country. One of the most common factors mentioned is that other states have lax helmet laws or no helmet laws at all. Another frequently mentioned factor is the increasing number of riders in the 21-30 and 51-60 age groups. As for the helmet laws, three states in the US have no helmet laws at all, and the majority of those who do have helmet laws do not require that all riders wear a helmet. Only 19 states, including Georgia, require all riders on a motorcycle to wear a helmet, universally.
According to the NHTSA’s statistics, nearly 90% of motorcycle riders report wearing a helmet in these 19 states. Everywhere else, motorcycle helmet usage is below 50%, a significant drop in a majority of states. Helmets have the ability to significantly improve the survivability of motorcyclists involved in accidents. Motorcycle accident attorneys in Alpharetta, GA take all of these laws very seriously because of the proven effectiveness in reducing the risk of fatal injury in motorcycle crashes. As motorcycle wreck lawyers, we want to help those injured in a motorcycle crash recover their health and lifestyle – not help those who have lost loved ones to a tragic accident obtain compensation for the tragedy. Both, of course, are unavoidable to an extent – but if you’re a motorcyclist, please take helmet laws seriously and do everything you can to protect yourself should the unexpected happen.
Contact an Alpharetta Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents are frequently catastrophic when compared to nearly any other kind of car crash. For this reason, it is crucial for motorcycle operators to adhere to appropriate safety measures, and obey traffic laws to the letter. Accidents can happen to any motorcyclist, even those dedicated to safety equipment and safe driving practices. However, these practices will maximize your chances of surviving an unforeseen crash as well as making it difficult for the other party to claim that you were partially at fault for the accident. For instance, speeding, running a stop sign, or engaging in reckless activity are all justifications for an insurance company to deny a claim. If you are injured following a motorcycle crash, you need and deserve swift compensation. By adhering to traffic laws, you will ensure that the other insurance company doesn’t have any room to negotiate.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you will quickly realize that the amount of information you need to have available is huge before you can file a claim. Don’t worry, however. Let a personal injury lawyer serving Alpharetta, GA help you through the process. By having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side, you will have someone reliable handling the details of paperwork and negotiations, while you will be able to focus on putting your life back together.
The process of proving a motorcycle accident claim sometimes involves assembling evidence, interviewing witnesses, forwarding medical bills to several insurance companies and constantly fending off requests for authorization forms or statements from insurance companies. With the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer in Alpharetta, you will not need to worry about any of these things. Contact a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer right away and let us go to work for you to help you recover the maximum possible settlement in your case. Call (770) HELP-NOW so you can focus on recovery and rebuilding your life.