Motorcycle Accident Settlements
Motorcycle riders face serious risks of the streets of Georgia. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office for Highway Safety, motorcyclists have represented more than ten percent of all highway fatalities in Georgia for more than ten years. The Office also reports that motorcycle fatalities in Georgia increased a staggering 26 percent in a recent two-year period. These statistics show just how dangerous it is to be a motorcyclist on the roads of Georgia.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the legal right to be compensated for all the financial, physical, and emotional losses you have sustained. The experienced motorcycle attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have decades of experience defending motorcycle accident claims. Motorcycle accident victims across Georgia trust our lawyers to aggressively protect their legal rights. Call 404.255.6677 today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney.Why is it So Dangerous to be a Motorcycle Rider?
There are many reasons why motorcycles are more dangerous than passenger vehicles. The biggest problem is that motorcycles offer far less protection than an enclosed vehicle with airbags, seat belts, and other required safety features. In a collision, a motorcycle rider is often thrown from his or her bike and collides with the road, another vehicle, trees, or other nearby obstructions. This collision has significant force behind it, and the rider is left without the protection of a steel vehicle frame or standard safety features. The injuries sustained by a motorcycle rider tend to be far more severe - and more often fatal - than those sustained by passenger vehicle occupants who are involved in the same accident.
The severity of injuries to motorcycle riders is also why it is so critically important that motorcycle drivers and passengers wear helmets on every single trip they make. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67 percent effective at preventing brain injuries. Helmets are required of any motorcycle rider in Georgia according to Section 40-6-315 of the Official Code of Georgia. Even when Georgia motorcycle riders are in a state that does not require helmet use, it is important to continue using a helmet on every motorcycle ride. The reduced risk of injury and death far outweighs any inconvenience that helmet use might cause.How Settlement Negotiations Work After a Motorcycle Accident
It can be difficult to know what to do after a motorcycle accident. First, be sure to respond to any medical needs on the scene of the accident. Once these immediate needs are attended to, get out of the roadway and into a safe location away from traffic. Many accidents result in secondary collisions from drivers who are not paying attention to the accident scene and new flow of traffic. If you do not seek medical attention on the scene of the accident, be sure to follow up with a primary care physician to determine if you have suffered any latent injuries. Pain, soreness, and other symptoms may not appear immediately after an accident occurs.
Once these immediate needs have been attended to, it is time to start protecting your legal interests. It is important to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible in order to begin protecting your legal rights immediately. Statements made on the scene of the accident or to an adverse insurance company can affect your ability to access compensation for your injuries. The sooner an attorney becomes involved in your case, the sooner he or she can protect you from such statements and other legal complications.
The first step to a settlement is filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This insurance carrier will then conduct its own investigation to determine who bears legal responsibility (“liability”) for causing the accident. Some accidents involve several drivers or multiple legal entities. In such cases, it can be difficult to make a liability determination. Some insurance companies use the opportunity to pass the blame to another driver. In such cases, it is very important to have the advice of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can prevent the insurance companies from “passing the buck,” and hold them accountable for any injuries caused by their insured drivers’ negligence.
Once liability has been assigned, the insurance company’s claims adjuster will attempt to value the claim. As you can imagine, the valuation of an adverse insurance carrier is not going to favor the claimant. A fair settlement offer must fully account for all losses the claimant has sustained. This includes: medical expenses already paid and likely to be incurred in the future, lost wages incurred from time of work and any decreases to the victim’s future earning potential as a result of the accident, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, property damage, and any other damages that are directly attributable to the defendant’s negligence.
Assigning a dollar amount to some of these losses can be difficult. How much money will fairly compensate for the pain and suffering of a painful orthopedic surgery? What is the value of being confined to a wheelchair or unable to pick up one’s children? These tricky areas are almost always undervalued by insurance companies - and sometimes ignored entirely. But they are very real and painful losses, and the law provides compensation for them. Here, too, it is especially important to have the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to fight for fair compensation for all losses the victim has sustained.Protecting the Legal Rights of Motorcycle Accident Victims
Don’t let an adverse driver, attorney, or insurance company impair your legal right to compensation. The experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can protect your legal rights to be fully and fairly compensated for all the many losses you have suffered due to another driver’s negligence. Call 404.255.6677 today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. We fight hard for the legal rights of motorcycle accident victims.