Motorcycle accidents are different than most other vehicle accidents that happen on the road, and no one knows that fact better than a motorcycle accident lawyer. The reason, sadly, is because of the severity of the injuries incurred by the motorcycle rider. Since more than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, motorcycle wreck lawyers are especially vigilant about protecting the rights of motorcycle riders. Call The Weinstein Firm at 770-HELP-NOW if you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident.
Consider A Motorcycle Accident Scenario
You finally have a free weekend afternoon, so you suit up and head out for a ride with plans to head home at sunset. That peaceful feeling of wind blowing by your ears sets in as you navigate your way safely on the open roads and take in the sights. You slow down just enough to take on a curve that you’ve driven several dozen times when you notice a car coming in the opposite direction. With even more caution, you edge over to make sure they have enough space.
Just when you think you’re in the clear, that vehicle quickly careens across the yellow line and clips your back wheel, sending you and your motorcycle spinning in different directions. Everything fades to black. Your next memory is that of being wheeled into an ambulance and hearing sirens as you head to the emergency room.
As soon as you get the chance, you make your first phone call to your family. The next one? To an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. You know this accident was not your fault and getting a motorcycle accident attorney is a smart move.
The Other Driver
It isn’t hard to see that cars and trucks outnumber motorcycles on the roads. Add to that the fact that motorcycles can be easily ignored. A motorcycle wreck lawyer understands that although not always on purpose, some drivers just don’t think of a motorcycle as a vehicle, so they unintentionally ignore it.
This, unfortunately, leads to accidents where – when a motorcycle driver is injured – the driver is typically protected because they also have airbags and seatbelts. Plus, there what is commonly referred to as the “crumple zone” in cars, which means that the armor of the vehicle is what bears the brunt of the crash – not the driver or its passengers.
A motorcycle rider, on the other hand, has none of those benefits in the case of an accident, so it’s the rider’s body that both literally and figuratively must deal with the impact of a crash.
If you don’t already know the cause, a motorcycle wreck lawyer will help you determine what the driver of another vehicle did to cause your collision.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Possible causes of an accident include speeding, distracted driving (i.e., texting), drinking and driving and failure to yield.
A motorcycle accident attorney typically finds that any of the above scenarios can lead to:
- A rider being thrown from the motorcycle
- A direct blow to the head or body of a motorcycle rider from another vehicle
- A direct blow to the head or body by striking another object (such as a guardrail or a tree) directly because of a mistake by the driver of another vehicle.
The Possible Injuries
Personal injury lawyers have seen it all from minor scrapes and bruises to the more serious, like broken bones and the unfortunate reality of fatalities. The most common injuries seen by motorcycle accident lawyers include:
This extremely painful injury is sustained when a motorcycle rider is sent sliding across the pavement during an accident. The pavement can rip and tear away at clothing, leaving skin exposed. A motorcycle accident attorney knows that the result is not as simple as a small wound, but rather a deep would with the loss of skin and other tissue. Typically, dirt and debris are embedded in the wounds which often leads to more serious issues, such as nerve damage and infections. Treatment can involve reconstructive and plastic surgeries and more.
Everyone has fallen or tripped, right? Your first reaction is to put your arms straight out in front of you break the fall. It is no different for motorcycle riders when they get in an accident, as they instinctively put their arms in front in they’re forced forward off their bike. The problem is, when this happens at high speeds (as it typically does), the arms aren’t strong enough to absorb the impact.
The damage caused is called “Biker’s Arm” which means that there was permanent nerve damage that affects the functions of the rider’s arm(s) and hand(s).
Motorcycle accident lawyers are familiar with the implications of this injury, which often means long-term chronic pain and extensive physical therapy sessions.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Have you ever pulled a muscle in your back? Add to that high speeds, other vehicles, and impact. The pain can be unimaginably life-altering, resulting in partial or full paralysis, and even death. The results of non-fatal injuries can be long or short term. No one motorcycle rider can be fully prepared for it. Your life can be seriously affected on every level, including financially, emotionally, mentally and physically.
This is why getting advice from a motorcycle accident lawyer is crucial to your case and getting the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Lower Extremity Injuries
Motorcycle accident lawyers say the most common motorcycle injuries are to the lower extremities: the feet, legs, knees, and pelvis. These injuries typically occur when a motorcycle is hit from the side angle. Bones can be broken, shattered or crushed and often result in large cuts, severe bruising, permanent disabilities and sometimes amputations.
Concussions are most common in motorcycle accidents, but a motorcycle accident attorney will tell you that brain damage isn’t uncommon. It can be debilitating and traumatic. The state of Georgia requires all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, but head injuries (fatal included) can still occur in motorcycle crashes even when the driver is wearing a helmet.
A motorcycle wreck lawyer will advise that if a motorcycle rider ever sustains a head injury, to take the proper procedures to protect yourself by going to the hospital for close monitoring.
What Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Want You to Know
You know by now that other drivers don’t always make your safety a priority, so the car accident lawyers here at The Weinstein Firm want to make sure you know how to protect yourself on the road as best as you can. Following the laws doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be an accident, but it can help your case tremendously – and keep you safer on the road – if you do.
When it comes to your gear:
- Helmets: In the state of Georgia, all riders, regardless of age, must wear a helmet at all times. There is no “official” rule regarding which style or size of helmet deemed acceptable, so a motorcycle accident lawyer will advise that you wear one that fits properly and provides the most protection as possible.
- Eye Protection: The law in Georgia says that unless you have a windscreen on your motorcycle, you must wear eye protection.
There are no laws stating which clothing should or should not be worn by motorcycle riders, but a motorcycle accident lawyer will recommend that you wear a good quality leather over all exposed skin to best guard against road rash. When shopping for your leather, be sure to purchase a good quality product. Check for double or triple stitching and recommendations from other buyers.
When it comes to the road:
- Lane splitting (driving between two lanes of vehicles) is prohibited, but you may share one lane side-by-side (also known as riding abreast) with one other motorcycle driver.
When it comes to your bike:
- You must have at least one rear-view mirror, although a motorcycle wreck lawyer may recommend two, and your headlight must be on at all times, even in the daylight hours.
A motorcycle accident lawyer here at The Weinstein Firm will recommend that you follow these laws at all times, but if you haven’t done your part 100%, this does not mean another driver can’t be held accountable for an accident if they are at fault.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you’ve done all you can to keep yourself – and others – safe on the road and still get in an accident, here is what a motorcycle accident attorney at The Weinstein Firm recommends you do immediately.
Check for Injuries
If you can move, check for injuries and do the same for anyone else involved. If someone needs medical attention, call for help immediately. Even when it comes to head injuries, it’s always best to call 911 just to be sure. These can seem minor initially and then evolve into a larger issue later. Getting the proper medical attention as soon as is feasibly possible is your best bet.
Move Out of The Way
Get yourself to a safe location and move your bike as well, if possible. If you have anything on hand to warn other drivers of an accident ahead, use it. This can be warning triangles, hazard lights or flares.
Exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers involved in the accident as well as their license plate number. The year, make, model and color of the vehicle are good to have as well.
Call the Police
This is especially important if anyone else is injured, or if your motorcycle is damaged. A police report is an official document that can be used to support your case and help you walk away with a big win.
Talk to Witnesses
This clearly depends on the extent of your injuries. If possible, try to get the names and contact information of anyone who saw what happened.
If possible, take as many pictures as you can. If you’re not able to, ask a witness to do so and then send them to you. Get shots of the car and motorcycle positions and damage, the road conditions, signage, and weather.
Do NOT Admit Fault
It could take weeks or months to determine who is at fault for an accident. Be mindful of your words and any statements you make to the other driver, the police, and especially the insurance company. Your words could be used against you later even if the accident is not your fault, so make your first call to a motorcycle accident lawyer at The Weinstein Firm before you contact the insurance company.
Why Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
A motorcycle accident attorney at The Weinstein Firm will be able to answer all your questions and help to determine if you have a good case. No motorcycle accident lawyer should ask you to pay for a consultation, and a motorcycle wreck lawyer at The Weinstein Firm will provide this service at no charge.
A motorcycle wreck lawyer will:
- Get statements from reliable experts to support your case.
- Compile all the documents and items that support your case including witness statements, pictures, and police reports.
- Gather and preserve all material evidence, such as damaged vehicles, pictures of the accident location, skid marks on the pavement and more.
In addition, your motorcycle accident lawyer will handle calls with the insurance company. Regardless of who is at fault, an insurance company will most likely try to blame you even if you were driving to perfection and a motorcycle accident attorney is fully prepared for this conversation. This is because the goal of the insurance company is to pay as little as possible or nothing at all, whether it is your own insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will make sure you understand that even if it is your insurance company who should pay for your own injuries, the insurance company is not on your side. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Lawrenceville will also help when an insurance company tries to deny your claim.
Here at The Weinstein Firm, our motorcycle accident lawyers will go up against the insurance company and fight for the full compensation that you deserve. The single job of a motorcycle accident attorney is to protect motorcyclists involved in accidents.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash involving another vehicle, a motorcycle accident lawyer at The Weinstein Firm can help. You could be entitled to financial compensation, and a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer will provide a free consultation to get the legal process underway for your case.