Motorcycle accidents are often unfairly blamed on motorcycle riders when it is truly the other drivers on the road that often make riding a motorcycle unsafe for the millions of safe riders in Alabama. If you were in an accident with a car or truck, you may be entitled to substantial damages for the injuries that resulted from that crash.
Our attorneys can fight insurance companies and drivers to get the compensation you need for your injuries. We can also stand up to victim-blaming tactics that are often used to shut down motorcycle injury claims.
For a free review of your potential motorcycle accident case, call the motorcycle accident lawyers at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
How Courts and Insurance Companies Determine Fault in a Milton, GA Motorcycle Accident Case
In most accident cases, fault is determined by looking at who did something wrong to contribute to the accident. In the case of motorcycle accidents specifically, this means looking at traffic laws and safe-driving rules to see if the other driver did something dangerous to cause the accident.
Whether a legal “duty” was “breached” – as the legal phrasing goes – is determined using objective standards. Generally, traffic laws and certain regulations create specific duties that drivers need to follow. For example, speed limits say that you cannot drive above that limit, so if the driver was over the speed limit, that is a breach that can supply fault in the crash. Other objective standards look at general safe-driving principles based on what a “reasonable driver of ordinary prudence” would do. For example, it would not explicitly violate a traffic law to eat while driving, but it is objectively more dangerous to eat while driving, so that could constitute a breach of duty if the driver who hit you had a burger in their hand at the time.
In many cases, courts will look to multiple drivers for fault. If your crash involved three or more operators or drivers, then the court can apportion blame among the other two drivers.
In cases where you are accused of contributing to the crash, you can be blocked from recovering damages if you are 50% or more at fault. This leads to a lot of victim blaming in motorcycle accidents that our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you combat.
Fighting Victim Blaming in Milton, GA Motorcycle Accidents
Defendants and their insurance companies will often try to shut down injured motorcycle rider claims by saying that the motorcycle rider was irresponsible or that they contributed to the accident. In many cases, these defenses are unfounded and we can fight to overcome the defense’s claims.
Under Georgia law, you can recover compensation for a crash or other injury even if the court finds you were partially at fault. When this happens, your damages are reduced by your percentage of fault. However, you can only recover compensation if your share of fault is under 50%.
Many of the claims that defendants make to accuse you of partial fault in a motorcycle accident can be shut down in court.
Defendants will claim that riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous and that the victim took on that risk when they got on their bike. This is not a valid legal argument, and motorcycles are legal to ride in Georgia, making this defense unreasonable.
Missing Safety Gear
Defendants will also claim that motorcycle riders put themselves at risk by not wearing a helmet or refusing to wear other safety gear above and beyond what the law requires. Since things like pads and gloves are not required by law, this defense is usually not persuasive. However, helmets are required by law in Georgia. As such, they can use your lack of helmet against you to an extent.
If you were not wearing a helmet and suffered a leg injury, it will be difficult for the defense to claim that your missing helmet had any effect on your case. Even when it comes to determining fault in causing the crash, a helmet might not have played much of a factor in whether or not you were responsible for the accident happening in the first place. It might instead have a more limited impact on the cause of the injuries, potentially leading you to reduced damages for a head injury.
If you were driving dangerously or violating traffic laws, then you could be held partially responsible. However, if your allegedly dangerous driving occurred a few miles back, then it might not have actually impacted the accident at all. Our lawyers can help limit the scope of what the court is allowed to consider, potentially leaving out previous incidents further back on the road from being considered.
Even if the court or insurance company does find that you contributed to your own injury in some way, you should still be able to get partial compensation as long as your fault is less than 50%.
Damages for Injured Motorcyclists in Milton, GA
If you were injured in a crash, then you could be entitled to financial compensation for the physical, monetary, and mental/emotional effects of the accident. Compensation for “economic” damages is available to pay you back for medical expenses, lost wages at work, and other costs such as damage to your bike. Compensation for “non-economic” damages can pay you back for emotional distress, mental anguish, and other “pain and suffering” damages. These damages are all based on how much harm you experienced rather than how much the defendant can pay or how bad their actions were.
In rare cases, you can also get additional damages to punish the defendant for incredibly dangerous actions or repeat instances of negligence behind the wheel. These are called “punitive” damages and are instead based on how bad the defendant’s actions were and how much the court needs to order to make them feel the effects of the punitive damages.
Call Our Milton, GA Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys Today
For a free review of your case, call (844) 876-4357 to speak with Howe Law’s motorcycle accident attorneys today.