Any motorist can be seriously injured by negligent drivers. Motorcyclists, however, are significantly more at risk. Despite public safety campaigns to encourage drivers to be more cautious, major accidents involving motorcycles are all too frequent. In 2016, over 5,000 motorcyclists died in accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you’re a motorcyclist who has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to substantial damages.
Motorcycles don’t have the steel cages that surround drivers in vehicles. The only protection a motorcyclist has is the helmet and clothes they are wearing. As a Georgia motorcycle accident injury lawyer will tell you, this makes motorcyclists much more prone to serious injuries and fatalities. Some of the most common reasons that vehicles get into accidents with motorcycles are:
Turning in front of a motorcycle. This happens primarily at intersections where a driver is turning left. Other vehicles can obscure a motorcyclist from the responsible driver, or the turning vehicle may underestimate the motorcyclist’s speed.
Lane merging. Inattentive drivers who don’t look at their blind spots could merge right in front of a motorcyclist. This can directly cause an accident or cause the motorcyclist to react abruptly and unsafely, causing a wreck.
Distracted driving. Whether because of texting while driving or talking to passengers, distracted driving is always a problem. But motorcyclists are at a far greater risk of being hurt if they come across a distracted driver.
Alcohol and drug use. Driving under the influence endangers everyone, especially motorcyclists. About one-third of motorcycle fatalities in 2017 were due to alcohol, according to the NHTSA.
In addition to lacking the protection of a vehicle, motorcyclists may be thrown from their bikes and injured or killed. Among the most common motorcycle-related injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and bruises
- Spinal cord and brain damage
- Nerve damage
- Road rash
Motorcyclists should take special precaution when driving in inclement weather or heavy traffic. Night time driving is also especially dangerous. Besides obeying all traffic laws, including wearing a helmet, riders need to have appropriate gear. They should stay alert and focused, ride defensively, and never engage in risky maneuvers.
For motorcyclists who have been injured by negligent drivers, it’s important to take immediate action. Finding evidence of wrongdoing can be especially difficult for someone who is seriously injured. Many motorcyclists wear helmet-mounted cameras to record their trips. They have adopted this as a safety measure in light of the dangers that motorcyclists face in riding.
Footage recovered from a helmet camera can be particularly useful in establishing liability. In far too many cases, at-fault drivers flee the scene, so these cameras can also help identify the wrongful party. In addition to this sort of evidence, the following can help:
- Witnesses to the accident, including their names and contact information
- Police report, which should be made as soon as possible after the accident
- Surveillance tapes, if there are any near the accident
- Any evidence of distracted driving or other fault by the vehicle driver
- Any evidence of drug or alcohol use
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
We Help Motorcyclists Injured by Negligent Drivers Throughout Georgia
After getting the medical attention you need for your injuries, reach out to our personal injury law firm in Georgia. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and advise you as to your legal options. We will also review your injuries and help you know what an appropriate amount of damages may be. If possible, we will settle your claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. But where settlement is not a realistic option, we’ll take your case to court and demand the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today to discuss your accident.