As a motorcycle rider, you have every right to be on the road, and other drivers should show you the same courtesy and safety they would anyone else. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and riders are badly injured in accidents.
Injuries in motorcycle accidents are often painful and serious. Many people sue for life-altering injuries like spinal cord damage or brain injuries. Families might sue for the wrongful death of their loved one after the accident. Compensation is largely based on financial losses and emotional and physical pain and suffering. However, punitive damages might be available in some cases and should be discussed with a lawyer. Motorcycle riders tend to be unfairly labeled as dangerous or risk-takers, and defendants often try to argue that motorcycle riders caused their own accidents. Your attorney can help you prepare for such allegations and defend you. To prove that the defendant is truly responsible for the crash, we need as much evidence as we can gather.
If you were in a crash, contact Howe Law for a free, private case evaluation with our Marietta motorcycle accident lawyers by calling (844) 876-4357.
Common Injuries in Kennesaw, GA Motorcycle Accident Cases
Motorcycle riders are not shielded from harm inside a vehicle. They are exposed and highly susceptible to bodily harm in the event of a crash. Bodily injuries, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and road rash, are somewhat common in motorcycle crashes. Many injured riders spend weeks, months, or even years dealing with complications from their injuries. Some live with permanent disabilities, such as paralysis from an injured spine.
In some tragic cases, motorcycle riders do not survive their accidents. When this happens, their family may come forward and file a wrongful death claim. According to O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2(a), family members, including spouses and children, may recover for the full value of the life of the deceased person. This is a somewhat broad explanation of the damages involved in a wrongful death claim, but damages may account for various aspects of the deceased motorcycle rider’s life, including financial and non-financial elements.
Compensation Your Damages Deserve in a Kennesaw, GA Motorcycle Accident Case
Big injuries usually mean big damages. Taking stock of all your injuries and losses might be difficult while you are still injured and recovering. Our motorcycle accident attorneys can review your accident and help you determine the extent of damages and what your compensation should be worth.
In many cases, plaintiffs claim compensatory damages meant to make up for the money they lost and the painful experiences they had to endure. You should speak to your attorney about these things to get a clear idea of what your damages truly are and what they are worth.
Economic losses tend to take the form of bills and invoices directly related to the accident. Medical treatment is one of the biggest sources of economic losses in motorcycle crash cases. While injured riders should absolutely get to a hospital as quickly as possible, the resulting hospital bill is never fun to deal with. Healthcare is infamously costly, and severe injuries might lead to extremely high medical costs.
You should also add up the costs of any property that was destroyed or lost during the accident. Chief among these losses is your motorcycle. This is a complex and expensive piece of machinery, and it must be accounted for in your damages. You can also claim the cost of replacing damaged gear, like your helmet, gloves, jackets, and safety padding. High-quality safety gear is often costly, and you should not have to foot this bill alone.
Money is important and should be accounted for in your damages, but some damages are not measured in dollars and cents. Your non-economic damages account for your physical and emotional pain and psychological distress. Many injured riders are deeply injured and live with new and uncomfortable medical complications. They might also live with an underlying fear of getting back on their bike, something they once probably enjoyed.
While many, if not most, motorcycle accident cases deal only with compensatory damages, some cases might be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish defendants and serve as a deterrent for future wrongdoings. These damages tend to be rare and difficult to prove.
According to O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1(b), punitive damages may only be granted in cases where plaintiffs show by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with malice, willful misconduct, wantonness, oppression, fraud, or a total lack of care that presumes conscious indifference.
Punitive damages might be available if we believe the trucker intentionally caused the accident, perhaps due to bad road rage. We might also argue for punitive damages if the trucker or trucking company made such glaring mistakes that their negligence shocks the conscience.
Your punitive damages, if available, may be capped at $250,000. On top of that, 75% of a punitive damages award might need to be paid to the state treasury.
What if the Defendants Argues That You Caused Your Injuries in a Kennesaw, GA Motorcycle Crash?
People are quick to blame motorcycle riders for accidents, even when the evidence suggests otherwise. Talk to your lawyer about the rule of comparative negligence in Georgia. If the defendant claims you somehow caused the accident, or at least contributed to it, your lawyer can help you defend yourself.
Georgia’s comparative negligence rule can be found under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33(a). According to this rule, your damages may be diminished in proportion to your share of the blame as determined by the court. For instance, if the court deems you to be 30% responsible for the crash, your overall damages award may be reduced by 30%.
If your share of the blame is 50% or more, you may be completely prohibited from recovering any damages. Defendants do not need to prove you are totally responsible for the crash to weasel out of paying damages. Our legal team can help you refute contributory negligence arguments and keep your damages as high as possible.
Call Our Kennesaw, GA Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for Assistance
If you were in a crash, contact Howe Law for a free, private case evaluation with our motorcycle accident lawyers by calling (844) 876-4357.