Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, offering a sense of freedom and adventure. However, Statesboro can be a challenging place to ride, as some drivers do not pay attention to motorcyclists on the road.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists are often unfairly blamed for causing accidents, even when they are not at fault. As a result, it can be challenging to seek compensation to cover your expenses after the accident. However, our team recognizes that most riders are not responsible for bringing about their injuries. That is why we will work tirelessly to gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf while you focus on recovering.
For a free case review with our Savannah motorcycle accident lawyers, call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
Understanding Motorcycle Laws in Statesboro, GA
Motorcyclists in Statesboro must follow a comprehensive set of laws that are designed to promote safety on the state’s roadways. These laws cover a wide range of aspects, including helmet usage, lane splitting, and various other critical safety measures. When an accident occurs, having our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers on your side can help protect your legal rights and show how the other party negligently caused your injuries. Violating any of these laws could lead to a ticket or, worse, significantly impact the compensation you can recover.
According to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-23, if you are planning to operate a motorcycle in Statesboro or anywhere in Georgia, you must have a Class M license or a Class M Instructional Permit (MP). This classification encompasses a wide variety of vehicles, including but not limited to motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, scooters, motorbikes, motor tricycles, and mini-bikes.
To obtain a Class M license, you will need to pass a written examination and a road test. The written exam covers topics such as traffic laws, safe riding practices, and motorcycle-specific regulations. The road test is designed to assess your skill level in operating a motorcycle safely and effectively in various situations, such as turning, accelerating, and braking. Overall, obtaining a Class M license demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate a motorcycle safely and responsibly.
Helmet and Eye Protection
Motorcyclists should also be aware of the state’s strict helmet laws. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-315 requires all riders and passengers to wear a helmet that meets the state’s standards at all times while on a motorcycle. The helmet must be DOT-compliant, meaning it meets the safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In addition to helmets, the law also requires motorcyclists to wear eye protection unless their motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen. This could be goggles, glasses, or a helmet visor, but it must be designed to protect the eyes from wind, dust, and other potential hazards. This means that motorcyclists should always have appropriate eye protection on hand in case they need it. Failure to comply with these safety gear laws can result in hefty fines and jeopardize your claim since the defendant can argue you contributed to your injuries by not wearing a helmet.
In Statesboro, every motorcycle on the road is entitled to utilize an entire lane, just like any other vehicle. In addition, it is legal for two motorcycles to ride side by side in one lane, which can be a convenient option for group rides.
However, lane splitting is not allowed. Lane splitting refers to the practice of riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic, which is not permitted in this state.
According to the O.C.G.A. § 40-6-312, all motorcycles in Statesboro are required to have specific safety features installed. One of the mandatory safety features is a rearview mirror that provides a clear view of at least 200 feet behind the motorcycle. Additionally, every motorcycle must be equipped with footrests for passengers and a permanent, regular seat.
Lastly, it is mandatory for all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, to be covered by liability insurance. O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11 outlines the minimum coverage limits that must be met. Specifically, the minimum coverage limits for motorcycles are as follows: $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in one accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Keep in mind that these are minimum coverage limits, and it might be wise to opt for higher coverage limits to ensure adequate protection in the event of an accident.
How Contributory Negligence Works in Statesboro, GA
Contributory negligence is a legal defense that is commonly used in negligence claims. It states that if a plaintiff is found to be even slightly at fault (at least 1%) for their own injuries, they are prohibited from recovering damages. However, the state of Georgia does not follow this doctrine. Instead, Georgia adheres to the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, specifically the “50% bar rule.”
Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, a plaintiff has the right to recover damages as long as they are less than 50% at fault for their injuries. However, if the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault, they are not entitled to any damages.
Moreover, the law allows for the allocation of damages. This means that the level of fault of each party involved is considered, and damages are awarded accordingly. For instance, if a plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault, their total award will be decreased by that percentage.
In most lawsuits, it is usually the role of the jury to determine the percentage of fault assigned to each party. The jury will evaluate all the evidence presented during the trial, including testimony from witnesses, to make an informed decision. This information will then be used to determine the appropriate amount of compensation that each party should receive.
How Long You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Statesboro, GA
In Statesboro, the statute of limitations for filing motorcycle accident lawsuits is typically two years from the date of the accident per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. This means that victims have a two-year window from the date of the crash to initiate legal proceedings against the party or parties they believe are responsible for their losses.
The statute of limitations plays a crucial role in the legal process. It ensures that potential lawsuits are pursued promptly, maintaining the accuracy and reliability of evidence. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the required timeframe, you risk losing your right to sue for the damages you have suffered.
Our Statesboro, GA Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Will Fight for the Justice You Deserve
Contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case evaluation with our motorcycle accident attorneys.