Motorcycle accident injuries can be particularly severe, as motorcycles do not provide the same level of protection as other motor vehicles in a collision. These accidents often cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, concussions, road rash and even death. Injuries from these crashes can result in expensive medical bills, loss of wages from missed time at work and other damages. If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by a negligent driver, you have legal rights. Contact a Brunswick motorcycle accident lawyer today who can help. At Roden Law, we have worked with many accident victims and have helped them obtain the justice and compensation they deserve because we believe that no one should have to pay for someone else’s negligence. Founding partner Eric Roden is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, dedicated to protecting the rights of citizens throughout the state of Georgia.
Our attorneys are prepared to seek the maximum financial recovery possible. We offer free consultations at no risk or obligation to you where we review your case and determine your legal options. If you decide to move forward, there are no upfront costs or fees to worry about unless you recover favorable compensation. Our office in Brunswick is conveniently located in downtown Brunswick next to the Mary Ross Waterfront Park.
Risk Factors Associated with Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are sadly a common occurrence on Georgia state roads. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that motorcyclists have accounted for more than 10 percent of all traffic fatalities within the last decade. In 2018, there were an estimated 264 motorcycle fatalities in the state of Georgia. The number of motorcycle fatalities increased by 27 percent (56 more fatalities) in 2018 in comparison to 2017.
Motorcycle accidents can happen for any number of reasons, but there are some risk factors that riders should be aware of:
- Decreased visibility – Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and can be easily hidden by objects on the roadway, making other motorists less likely to seem them. This is especially true when approaching or passing through an intersection. Riders who wear bright colors or reflective clothing and use their daytime running lights have a greater chance of being seen.
- Road hazards – Things that are less hazardous for cars, such as gravel, potholes, oil slicks and uneven pavement, can be quite dangerous for a motorcycle. Debris and other objects on the road can not only cause an accident, but the object itself can hit and seriously harm the rider.
- Less protection and stability – Unlike passengers in a motor vehicle, motorcyclists are not protected by barriers or protective devices to cushion the impact of a collision. There are no safety features that exists on a motorcycle, such as steel frames, airbags, padding and seat belts. Motorcycles also have two wheels instead of four, making them less stable to maneuver, especially when having to suddenly stop or swerve to avoid a collision.
- Inclement weather – Motorcycles are more vulnerable to sudden downpours, icy road conditions and fog compared to cars and trucks. Riders should consider staying off the roadways when weather conditions are poor to prevent an accident and injury.
No matter how safe you ride, you can still become hurt in an accident caused by a careless driver. When this happens, you should consider contacting an attorney. An experienced Brunswick motorcycle accident attorney can identify the cause of your accident and help prove who is liable for any damages you sustained.
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Georgia Motorcycle Laws
According to the Georgia Motorcycle Operators Manual, motorcyclists must obey the same rules and regulations that motorists follow. This manual helps prepare riders for Georgia licensing tests by providing an understanding of the rules of the road and how to practice safe riding habits.
Obtaining a Motorcycle License
To apply for a Class M license, you must be at least 17 years of age. You must pass a special road signs test, a special road rules test and an actual riding test on a motorcycle. A vision test will also need to be completed. If you are under 18 years of age, then a parent/guardian or responsible adult is required to sign the application for your Class M license. He or she has the authority to request that your license be revoked at any time before you turn 18.
To be issued the motorcycle license, you must also submit the following documentation:
- Official documents showing your name, Social Security number, residential address, and either U.S. citizenship or lawful status in the U.S.
- Any driver’s license, permit or ID if from another state, which you are surrendering
- Certificate of School Enrollment (DS-1) dated within the last 30 days or a high school diploma or GED, if you are under 18 years old
Riders who are at least 16 years of age have the option of obtaining a motorcycle instruction permit – also known as a Class MP Permit - that allows them to drive a motorcycle on public roads or highways with certain restrictions. These restrictions include riding only during daylight hours, not riding on limited access roadways, carrying no passengers and wearing protective gear such as a helmet.
Wearing Protective Gear
In Georgia, all riders and passengers on motorcycles must always wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant helmet. This is outlined in Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 40-6-315. The helmet must fit comfortably, but snugly and be securely fastened. There can be no obvious defects on the helmet, including any cracks, loose padding, or frayed or torn straps.
Motorcyclists must also wear face and eye protection gear unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windshield. If not, all riders must wear an eye or face shield that is free from scratches, resistant to penetration, offers a clear view to either side, fastens securely, allows air to pass through to reduce fogging and has enough room for eyeglasses or sunglasses if necessary.
Protective riding gear, such as gloves, long pants, a jacket and sturdy footwear are also important to wear to stay comfortable and keep a rider focused on the road to avoid an accident.
Riders may carry passengers on a motorcycle if equipped with a large enough seat, footrests, secure hand straps or solid handholds, and if the passenger is wearing the same protective safety equipment as the motorcyclist. Passengers should be advised to only get on a motorcycle once the engine has been started, place both feet on the footrests and keep legs away from the bike’s mufflers, chains or any other moving parts.
Lane splitting is legal in certain states. However, Georgia prohibits lane splitting, which occurs when a motorcyclist rides between two rows of stopped or slow-moving traffic. The state also does not allow motorcyclists to share a lane together. Motorcycles and motor vehicles each need a full lane to drive in a safe manner.
Call Roden Law now at 1-844-RESULTS for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Georgia is an at-fault state. This means that the driver who caused the accident and his or her insurance company will be liable for all damages.
All drivers must carry liability insurance coverage in Georgia. This helps cover any type of personal injury or property damage you caused others in a motorcycle accident. The minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury of two or more people
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Riders also have the option to purchase additional coverage. Uninsured motorist insurance compensates for your losses if you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by an uninsured driver.
A motorcycle accident lawyer in Brunswick can review your case and determine the forms of insurance compensation you may be entitled.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Damages Available After a Motorcycle Crash
Any rider who is involved in a motorcycle accident in Georgia may obtain compensation for his or her injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. Our legal team can carefully investigate your claim to determine the full value of the damages you have suffered. These damages could include:
- Medical bills you have already incurred, including future expenses
- The cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle
- Wages lost from missed time at work due to your injury
- Expenses necessary to accommodate your injury, such as hiring a caregiver
- Loss of future earning income if you cannot return to your job or work at all
- Emotional distress or mental anguish attributed to the accident
- Permanent disability or disfigurement caused by the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life in activities you once enjoyed
- Loss of care, affection or companionship due to the accident
Non-economic damages may only be available in a personal injury lawsuit. Our Brunswick personal injury lawyers can determine if filing a lawsuit is in your best interest. We want you to recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
Speak with Our Brunswick Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Roden Law has years of experience helping victims of motor vehicle accidents in Georgia. Our firm has helped recover millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. We believe that everyone deserves the right to legal representation, especially when involved in an accident caused by another’s negligent acts.
Being injured in a motorcycle accident can completely change your life. Let one of our Brunswick motorcycle accident lawyers help you pursue the financial recovery you need. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with us so we can review your legal options. Our services are provided on contingency, which means you pay us nothing unless we help you recover adequate compensation.