Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Atlanta
Motorcyclists are far more exposed to the elements than drivers of other motor vehicles. Motorcycles are much smaller than other motor vehicles and can easily go unnoticed in a car’s blind spot. Many motor vehicle drivers don’t give motorcyclists the seriousness and respect they deserve as fellow drivers on the road.
None of these things are surprising, but when you put them together you’ve got a recipe for serious motorcycle accidents. Around 140 motorcyclists die every year on Georgia’s highways. That’s about one death every 2.6 days. Motorcycle deaths, including un-helmeted motorcycle deaths, have declined over the years, but the fact remains that motorcyclists are more likely than other drivers to die or suffer serious injury in an auto accident, regardless of whether or not the accident was their fault.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact The Stoddard Firm. We have years of experience, and we’ll do our best to get you the settlement you deserve. Don’t wait a minute: contact us online or call us at 678-RESULTS today.
Laws for Motorcyclists
Georgia motorcyclists are required to carry a Class M motorcycle license. You must be at least 17 years old to apply for a class M license from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). Learner’s permits are given to motorcyclists as young as 16 so they can practice riding before taking the road test.
When the time comes to take the road test, a driver is required to apply at the DDS for a license, taking a knowledge test and a road test all at once. As an alternative to this, drivers can take a Motorcycle Safety Program Basic Course, which includes a road test and a knowledge test as part of a larger safety course.
Georgia motorcyclists, along with any passengers who may be on the vehicle with them, are required to wear a helmet. The fine for not wearing a helmet is no more than $15.00. The law requires motorcyclists to use helmets with eye-protection devices, so a bicycle helmet doesn’t fulfill the requirements. It has to be a full motorcycle helmet with eye protection incorporated into it.
In 2015, motorcycle fatalities hit their highest level since 2008, with a total of 152 motorcycle deaths occurring that year. The good news is that, over the years, the average number of deaths per year has been declining slowly. The bad news is that far too many motorcyclists are still dying on Georgia’s highways.
Alcohol use is a serious factor leading to motorcycle fatalities, both in Georgia and in the United States as a whole. Out of the 145 motorcyclists killed in crashes in Georgia during 2015, 36 of them (or 25 percent) showed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. This is lower than the national average for the year, where out of 4,684 fatalities, 1,285 motorcyclists (or 27 percent) had a high BAC.
Even though motorcycle fatalities have declined over the years, motorcycle accidents are still much too common, and motorcyclists still have to take extra care on the roads.
Risk factors for Motorcyclists
Let’s talk about some of the most common situations where motorcycle accidents occur. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are when:
A car makes a left turn in front of you.
This is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents. An inattentive driver can make a turn without realizing you are there.
A car changes lanes into you.
Just like with the car that turns in front of you, this accident is caused when a driver isn’t paying enough attention and crashes into you because you’re small.
A car hits you from behind.
If you are stopped at an intersection, a crosswalk, or for any other reason, a driver may have a hard time spotting you. If a driver hits you at high speed, the resulting accident can be devastating.
What to do if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident
If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, you should first seek medical attention. You should also make sure you contact authorities. If your injuries were the result of neglect by another party, you should seek legal assistance. The Stoddard Firm has years of experience handling accident injuries, and we even offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 678-RESULTS.