Each motorcycle accident involves a different set of circumstances and relates to different motorcycle injury laws. To find the best motorcycle injury lawyer for your situation you may need to make several phone calls until you find the motorcycle injury lawyer that answers your questions in a satisfactory manner. If you were in a motorcycle injury accident in Atlanta GA, contact Schneider Hammers to speak to an Atlanta injury lawyer and receive a FREE case evaluation.
In 2017, 170 people lost their lives in the state of Georgia while riding motorcycles. Studies have shown that this is a decline of nearly 26 percent when compared to 2016. This is according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). This number does not include the vast number of people who suffered severe life-threatening injuries in motorcycle accidents. You or a loved one may have experienced injury or property damage during a motorcycle accident. You should consider calling an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer. This legal expert will walk you through the various stages involved in the aftermath of the incident.
There are quite a few decisions that you must make and questions you must answer in the aftermath. This especially applies once insurance companies, law enforcement, and opposing counsel get involved. You should trust the expertise of a motorcycle accident injury lawyer. This will increase your chances of walking away from the incident with a courtroom victory instead of another loss.
Should I See A Doctor Even Though I Was Not Injured During a Motorcycle Accident?
Irrespective of what happens, you are always advised to see a doctor immediately after you’ve been involved in a motorbike crash. After being involved in an accident, most people tend to experience an adrenaline rush; this is how our bodies react when presented with perilous situations in preparation for fight or flight. A rush of adrenalin can keep you from noticing that you’re injured – and some injuries could be potentially serious. There is a chance that you could be suffering internal injuries, which could worsen if you don’t seek immediate medical attention.
A physician will examine you and check for any hidden or internal injuries that you probably suffered during the incident. Seeking medical attention as soon as the incident occurs could help solidify your accident claims later on as the results could serve as a link between injuries suffered and the accident. If you don’t seek medical attention immediately after the incident, the insurance company could claim that your injuries were instigated by an intervening or earlier event and not your accident.
What Do I Need to Do After a Motorbike Crash?
If you’ve just been in an accident and are injured, seek medical help immediately and make sure that you notify the police.
Do not give any statements to anyone who is not the police. Do not admit liability or fault. Make sure you obtain the contact information, address and names of all the witnesses on site. You’ll be surprised to learn that it is quite hard for police to obtain this information from witnesses.
Use your phone camera (if you have a professional camera on hand, then use that) to take photos of the scene – if you cannot have someone do it for you. The images should include all the vehicles involved and all visible evidence, including gouge marks in the pavement, debris, and tire marks.
Also, make sure your photograph visible injuries routinely until they are completely healed. Start a journal on all of your daily experiences while recovering. This information will help us paint a picture for insurance of what you had to go through during recovery. Let your insurance company know about the accident but don’t give any recorded or written statements to an insurer until you’ve spoken to one of our attorneys, who are available all day, every day. To protect your rights, call a motorbike lawyer as soon as possible.
How Will a Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer Be Of Help With My Compensation Claim?
Apart from giving your advice on the drawbacks and merits of litigation or settlement, a motorcycle accident lawyer will also help you file your claim within the set deadlines as per Georgia State laws requirements.
For motorcycle accidents that happen in Atlanta, GA, plaintiffs have a two-year period from the date of the accident to make a claim known as a motor vehicle accident claim. For damages to property, you have four years to make your claim. When hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer, consider if he or she informs you of each of these crucial deadlines.
Some knowledge if Georgia’s comparative negligence rule is essential if you are thinking of discussing compensation claims with the other party’s insurance provider. But let us say you partly to blame for the collision, your lawyer should not have a hard time negotiating for you. However, this negotiation won’t be possible without the expertise, commitment, and knowledge of a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Furthermore, the success of your litigation, negotiation, or settlement will be dependent on your motorcycle wreck attorney’s ability to obtain substantial evidence. To do this, your attorney will need access to all and any investigative documents pertaining to the case, and that includes police reports.
Your motorcycle accident attorney might also have to visit the scene of the accident or try to recreate the event. As part of their investigation, your attorney will interview several eyewitnesses and bring together evidence such as marks on the pavement, the position of street signs, and photos of the bike.
Beyond these efforts, the attorney might also try and provide you with emotional support and make the resources necessary for recovery and rehabilitation available to you. When it comes to legal representation, you need to work with a legal counsel that you trust to bring the best possible outcome for your case.
What Types of Compensation Am I Liable To Receive After A Motorcycle Accident?
Despite having protective eyewear and headgear on, motorcyclists are still disposed to a range of injuries following a collision. Unlike car drivers, motorcyclists don’t have the protection and luxuries that come with an enclosed space such as automatic airbags, which can protect them during an impact. As a result, they’re more likely to get more severe injuries that will require longer medical treatment and attention. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another road user, then you deserve to get fully compensated for any damages or injuries incurred on you or your property.
If you’ve been the victim of another road user’s negligence, you might want to consider working with a motorcycle accident attorney for the following types of reparation:
This form of compensation recompenses you for any medical expenses that you’ve had to deal with treating the physical injuries suffered after the accident. It also puts into consideration lost wages as a result of your inability to get back to work or confinement. To ensure you get compensated for economic damages, your motorcycle accident lawyer will have to compile a file containing all of your medical receipts and records, and in some instances, your employment and salary records too.
While financial losses are quite common after a motorcycle accident, you might still have to endure intangible damages as a result of the physical injuries suffered. If you became facially disfigures, went into a coma, or lost a limb due to another road user’s negligence, you have the right to seek non-economic compensation. However, considering that it’s not that easy quantifying these damages, you’ll need to find a reliable motorcycle accident attorney that can represent you and your interests.
You could also file for punitive damages if you suspect the other party was intent to harm you or if their negligence was so severe that it resulted in lifelong impairment or extreme, life-altering injuries. In such instances, the attorney you work with not only has to be well versed in matters related to motorcycles wreck to defend you but also needs to be someone who is equipped with all the resources needed for evidence collection. The evidence they collect should be sufficient enough to establish malicious intent and outright negligence in the other party’s part.
It is possible to file a claim that recovers one or more of these damages; however, it is all dependent on the degree of your suffering and injuries. Though, it is worth noting that filing for property damage claims and injury compensation should be done before the set deadlines as stipulated by the law.
Choose a Motorcycle Personal Injury Lawyer Over Self-Representation
Calculate the number of billable hours you may need from an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer. It may make you may change your mind in favor of self-representation. Representing yourself in court may seem like a feasible option. You may feel as if you have an “open-shut” case. You may believe it will not require very much time in court to finalize. Also, you may even think it may never make it to trial.
Keep in mind that self-representation jeopardizes an otherwise level playing field within the courtroom. Without a motorcycle accident lawyer, you may very well be leaving yourself at the mercy of the court. More importantly, you will be left at the mercy of the opposing counsel. Yes, even if you are not at fault for the accident. You may end up walking away from the typical courtroom trial with a bill (if anything at all). Working with a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer is best. It will ensure that you are fully prepared for whatever opposing counsel may try inside or outside the courtroom.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Conduct Further Investigations
An experienced motorcycle personal injury lawyer can also provide quality assistance with additional investigations. When police officers respond to the scene of a motor vehicle accident, they have only a few primary objectives. They focus on assessing bodily damage and dispatching ambulatory vehicles to transport those who need (or request) medical attention. Police officers also clear the road as quickly as possible to relieve any traffic congestion caused by the accident. The responding officers are also tasked with identifying the at-fault motorist in most situations. In addition, they write and distribute any applicable summonses.
However, officers typically don’t investigate the scene of the accident thoroughly or researching the other driver in-depth. It’s different when you hire a motorcycle accident attorney. A lawyer will work hard to help you reconstruct the events that led up to the moment of impact. They will also focus on what took place during the aftermath of the accident.
Most people refer to this process as accident reconstruction. There are professionals who specialize in this field. The attorney can return to the scene of the accident with them. They will use detailed research, surveillance footage from nearby cameras and witness statements to piece everything together.
A Motorcycle Personal Injury Lawyer Will Handle Accident Reconstructions
Accident reconstruction methods are typically used when the police could not readily identify who was at fault. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will use whatever resources are available or accessible to put the various puzzle pieces together. This is all with the goal of fortifying your legal case.
Below are some of the valuable resources any motorcycle personal injury lawyer may use during the accident reconstruction stage of your case:
- Eyewitness testimonies and statements
- Recorded audio footage of interviews and/or investigations
- Photographs from the scene of the accident like property damage or streaks in the road
- Photographs of personal injuries including bruises and contusions
- Police reports and other reported findings
- Supporting documentation and analytical data like charts, graphs, diagrams and tables
Note that the judge may not always take all this evidence seriously or even allow it to be considered. The court must review all the evidence and resources gathered during the accident reconstruction phase. You want the evidence to be entered into official court records and viewed by both sides as admissible evidence. For this to happen it must support the claim of the party.
You can help ensure that the accident reconstruction evidence and resources accurately and effectively support your claim. Work with your lawyer to verify the accuracy, authenticity and overall relevance of each resource gathered. Your motorcycle accident attorney will understand the need for a “fair and accurate representation”. This means the claim should not unfairly prejudice a party. The concept of probative value comes into play. Any potential danger of unfair prejudice will be outweighed by its overall value and usefulness in supporting the claim.
How the evidence is interpreted will also play a role in its value (or lack thereof) regarding your case. For instance, the judge may allow the admission of the evidence discovered during the accident reconstruction. However, they may provide the jury with directions.
An Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Help You Document Expenses
There is another benefit of having your own motorcycle accident attorney to represent you and handle these legal matters. You will have expert guidance in documenting expenses as well as financial losses. Careful calculations must be made to come up with accurate figures depicting loss of income, medical and prescription expenses. Rehabilitation costs, therapy expenses, punitive damages are among the other forms of compensation to which you may be entitled.
Many people may assume this part of the legal process occurs the same way it does in the movies. Hollywood depicts these types of cases as automatically ending with a multimillion-dollar award. The victim becomes wealthy when the verdict is announced by the jury foreman. Behind the scenes of an actual case, much more work goes into the documentation of expenses and losses. This is another reason why you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. They will handle all legal matters related to your case. This will be one less burden for you to carry.
An Attorney Will Help Filter Your Communication
Perhaps one of the most important tasks that a motorcycle accident attorney handles is filtering communication. Throughout the aftermath of your accident and during your legal case, they will advise you on matters like:
- Whom can you talk to and whom should you avoid?
- When should you speak up and when should you shut up?
- Which questions should you answer, and which should you ignore?
- How should you respond to phone calls and visitations from police officers, insurance companies, claim adjusters and opposing counsel?
- What if you are asked to record a statement or video interview regarding the accident?
- Can you trust the press if they show up at your front door claiming to be on your side? How would you handle those types of incidents?
- What is the best way to address the accident on social media to keep your family and friends updated?
The list of questions that could flood your mind regarding communication is much longer than the few referenced above. Having legal representation is of the utmost importance. The wrong step when it comes to communication can jeopardize and even destroy your entire case.
Be Careful About Who You Talk to Without Your Lawyer
It is imperative to note that some parties will be searching for ways to poke holes in your argument. Watch out for the opposing counsel, the other driver’s insurance company, and even the other driver. They will be especially active if they are in the wrong for the accident. Discussing the accident or its aftermath inappropriately can cause harm to your claim. Be careful about what you say, when you say it and where you say it.
For example, it is a good idea to avoid using social media to discuss the accident at all. Do not post photographs of your damaged vehicle or discuss the events leading up to the accident. Do not post about the aftermath of the accident on any type of social media platform. Keep in mind that all your posts, pictures, and videos can go against you in court. This includes content that you may assume has nothing to do with your case. Think about vacation photos or pictures of you spending the night on the town with your friends. Even photos of you at work can go against you. Insurance companies and opposing attorneys can take this content and present it as evidence of malingering during the trial.
They may use your posts as evidence that your injuries may not be as severe as your attorney argued. As mentioned earlier, these holes in your case can be quite problematic. They can quickly call your credibility into question. Within the courtroom, we protect your credibility. This is a task that your lawyer can handle with accuracy and precision if you do not interfere. Find effective ways to update your family and friends offline about your accident and case. However, you should even be cautious with offline communication. Your loved ones may be subpoenaed to sit on the witness stand during your trial.
Share Your Repair Timeline with Your Lawyer
You should get in the habit of sharing everything with your Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer. Include even the items and tasks that are indirectly related. For instance, what is your plan for repairing your vehicle? It is understandable that you may be in a rush to get back on the road. After all, the vehicle affected by the accident may have been your primary source of transportation.
All the errands you must run may pop in your head when you realize your vehicle is not drivable. It may seem as if the sooner that you can get your vehicle back on the road, the better. However, that is not always the case. It is a good idea to avoid fixing your vehicle right away.
Your vehicle is a major element of your evidence that you need to present to the court. Your attorney can skillfully use your damaged vehicle to confirm the other motorist’s liability. The damage can prove the severity of the accident. Keep in mind that your attorney will also need to invest in an accident reconstruction specialist. This expert can examine the damage to your vehicle in addition to the scene of the accident. They may also look into all other types of admissible evidence. This does not mean that your vehicle will never recover. In fact, waiting too long to have these repairs done could backfire. It may look suspicious to opposing counsel and the judge. However, the key is to rely on your motorcycle accident attorney to give you the green light. Your lawyer will tell you when you should have those repairs done.
The estimates may come back and determine your vehicle has a lot of damage. If so, make sure that you get the insurance company to properly document their decision in writing. Your attorney needs to see that paperwork. They can accurately add those calculations to your list of overall expenses and financial losses.
An AtlantaMotorcycle Accident Attorney can Ease Your Stress
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident may seem overwhelming to anyone. It doesn’t matter whether it is your first accident ever or just your first one this year. If your accident was in Atlanta, it is crucial to retain the professional services of an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer to help you.
Furthermore, hire an Atlanta personal injury attorney with a successful track record. This will speak volumes about what they have done for past clients. That’s an indication of what they can possibly do for you. Schneider Hammers has experienced lawyers that handle motorcycle accidents. Don’t hesitate, contact a motorcycle injury lawyer today and get a FREE consultation.