Injured in a motorcycle accident? Was a loved one killed in a crash?
Our attorneys recover maximum compensation for Georgia accident victims.
We’ve all seen the bumper stickers reminding drivers to “Watch out for motorcycles” and “Look twice, save a life.” And yet, a leading cause of motorcycle injuries continues to be driver inattention and distraction. Cars regularly pull out in front of motorcycles, make left hand turns in front of oncoming motorcyclists, swerve into bikes while changing lanes, and even run into bikers stopped at stoplights.
While the car driver may be at fault, it’s ultimately the motorcycle rider who pays the price. Every year, thousands of motorcyclists and their passengers are killed or severely injured because the other driver wasn’t paying attention. Even at low speeds, a motorcycle accident can result in severe road rash and other serious injuries to the rider, who is exposed and unprotected. If the motorcycle is going at highway speeds, the crash is often fatal.
At the law office of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, we’ve successfully represented motorcycle accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims for the last 50 years. Our Macon motorcycle accidents lawyers have the experience and resources needed to thoroughly investigate your injury claim, establish liability and pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.If you’ve been seriously injured or disabled, or your loved one was killed in a fatal motorcycle accident, call 1-800-688-1651 or contact us online for legal help now.
Motorcycle accident & injury statistics
While rates of fatal car and truck accidents have trended down in recent years, the number of motorcycle deaths is higher than ever. In fact, the number of fatalities among motorcycle riders and passengers have more than doubled since 1997.
- In 2016, 5,286 people died in motorcycle crashes.
- In 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled.
- More motorcycle fatalities occurred on weekdays between 3-6pm than any other day or time.
- While motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States and only account for 0.7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.
- Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers.
- 28 percent of riders who died in a motorcycle crash in 2017 were alcohol-impaired.
- 91 percent of riders who died in a motorcycle crash in 2017 were male.
- Riders 50 and older made up 36 percent of all motorcycle fatalities in 2017.
Most common motorcycle accidents
In light of these sad statistics, it’s important for motorcycle riders and passengers—as well as motor vehicle drivers—to be aware of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents so that they can use this information to avoid collisions when behind the handle bar (or wheel).
Here’s a list of the 10 most frequent types of motorcycle accidents:
- Lane splitting. When a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic, this is called “lane splitting.” In some states, the practice is legal—but NOT in Georgia.
- Speeding. Speeding is a leading cause of all types of auto accidents, especially collisions with motorcyclists. A driver has less time to react to sudden dangers in time to prevent a crash. The higher the speed, the greater the impact and the more serious the consequences.
- Abrupt stops. Whether the motorcyclist is in front or following behind a vehicle, sudden stops can prove serious or deadly for motorcyclists if one of the drivers doesn’t react in time, resulting in a rear-end collision.
- Hitting fixed object. When a driver parks their car and opens their door without looking, sometimes crashes can happen with motorcyclists and bicyclists passing by. Depending on how fast the motorcyclist was going, this can cause serious injuries. Collisions with open car doors, road debris, signs, trees and other fixed objects are responsible for approximately one in four motorcycle fatalities.
- Motorcycle defects. Sometimes, a motorcycle part malfunctions or breaks down unexpectedly due to faulty design or manufacturing. In such cases, a motorcyclist might have to try to steer their bike to safety or else risk an accident.
- Right of way errors. Left turn accidents often happen when a driver or motorcyclist fails to give the right of way or misjudges the distance while making a turn.
- Impaired driving. While driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous in any circumstance, it is particularly deadly when an intoxicated driver doesn’t see an oncoming motorcyclist—or when the motorcycle rider operates their bike while intoxicated.
- Poor road conditions. Potholes, crumbling roads, debris, uneven pavement, lack of signage and other road hazards can pose a danger to riders and result in losing control of their motorcycle or colliding with another vehicle.
- Unsafe lane changes. Motorcycles are smaller than cars, and therefore can get lost in vehicle blind spots easier. When drivers fail to check their blind spot before changing lanes, there’s a higher risk of colliding with an unseen motorcyclist. Some motorcyclists, too, are guilty of reckless driving when they swerve in and out of lanes, often to get out of traffic.
- Bad weather. Motorcyclists aren’t shielded from the elements like other drivers, and as such, they are more prone to wrecks caused by severe weather such as heavy rain, wind, hail, snow and ice. Most riders take shelter when bad weather rolls in, but sometimes a motorcyclist gets stuck in a sudden downpour.
Types of motorcycle injuries
Regardless of what caused a motorcycle accident, the injuries commonly experienced by motorcycle riders and passengers following such a collision are often severe and catastrophic—especially if the motorcyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet or protective clothing.
Some of the most common types of motorcycle injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Road rash
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken (rib) bones
- Internal organ damage
Getting a fair settlement for your motorcycle accident
Motorcycle accidents differ from car accidents in that the injuries are often more catastrophic and severe since the motorcycle rider isn’t protected by airbags and a car’s metal frame.
Injured motorcyclists must also overcome a certain stigma or bias that may have a negative impact on their final settlement offer. Even though a large majority of motorcyclists are careful and law abiding drivers, there still exists unfair stereotypes and misconceptions that motorcycle riders drive recklessly and unsafely.
What’s more, Georgia is a modified comparative fault state, meaning each driver involved can be assigned a percentage of the blame for the accident, which reduces the amount of damages you can sue for.
If it’s determined that you were more than 50 percent at fault for the crash, then you may be unable to seek compensation at all. As a result of these negligence laws, insurance companies often try to play off of existing stereotypes by portraying an injured motorcyclist as reckless and dangerous in order to reduce the compensation they’re forced to payout or avoid having to pay altogether.For this reason, you should never accept a settlement from an insurance company without first talking to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
Our Macon motorcycle accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case to prove the 4 elements of negligence needed to make the other driver liable for your damages:
- Duty of care. The other driver had a duty of care to protect you and others from unnecessary risk of harm.
- Breach of duty. The other driver failed to act as a reasonably prudent person would under the same circumstances and thus caused you harm.
- Causation. The other driver’s breach of duty directly caused the accident that injured you or killed your loved one.
- Damages. You and/or your family suffered financially because of the accident caused by the other driver.
Even if it’s obvious that the other driver was at fault, their insurance policy might not be enough to fully cover your astronomically high medical bills in the aftermath of a serious motorcycle accident—not to mention the costs associated with missed time at work and your pain and suffering. And that’s if the driver even has the minimum required insurance coverage in the first place.
In such cases, filing a personal injury claim may be your only option for recovering the full cost of a serious motorcycle accident. In Georgia, you only have a limited amount of time to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit under the statute of limitations. After this deadline, the law prevents you from pursuing a lawsuit.In Georgia, you only have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a motorcycle injury claim.
The clock is ticking! Contact our Macon motorcycle injury attorneys as soon as possible so that we can start building your case and get you the compensation you’re owed.
Motor vehicle accident resources
The resources needed to win
Unlike some personal injury attorneys who settle all of their cases, we are not afraid to go to court if needed. Our firm has the resources needed to thoroughly prepare, try and win complicated cases.
We are dedicated to doing everything legally and ethically possible to obtain the best results for our injured clients. Hard work and dedication have allowed us to recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for people in personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Hurt in a motorcycle accident? Talk to our Macon personal injury attorneys for free.
In any motorcycle case, it’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to investigate liability. If we represent you, our lawyers will go beyond the information contained in the traffic accident report. We will interview key witnesses who may have seen events leading up to the accident and can help us prove that the other driver is at fault.
In motorcycle injury cases, our attorneys consult with some of the best experts available to establish liability including former Georgia state troopers and specialists from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
If you or someone you love has been hurt, contact us to arrange a free initial consultation. Call our office or complete the online form. With offices conveniently located in Macon, Albany and Warner Robins, we help clients statewide in Georgia and throughout the Southeast. You will owe no fees unless we recover compensation for you. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.