If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!
At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.
When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
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Can I Reopen My Motorcycle Accident Case?
There are many reasons why a person might want to reopen a motorcycle accident case. In some situations, Georgia law will let you reopen your motorcycle accident cases. In some circumstances, you will not have a remedy. The ultimate answer as to whether you can reopen your motorcycle accident case will depend on the facts.
What Happens if You Settled Your Case and Want to Reopen It
When you accept a settlement check, the insurance company makes you sign papers, including a waiver. The waiver will say that you can never, at any point in the future, bring another claim or file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries from the motorcycle accident.
Settling the case too early is a common pitfall for people who try to handle recovering compensation without the help of a lawyer. If you have not completed your medical treatment, you do not know how many additional procedures, like surgeries, you will need to fix the damage. Also, you do not know if you will have permanent loss of function from your injuries. For these reasons, you should avoid the temptation of a quick, early settlement.
The Statute of Limitations
Every state has laws called a statute of limitations which controls how much time you have to file a lawsuit. Let's say that you started a motorcycle accident case but then took a break from the claims process or litigation. In some situations, you might be able to reopen the matter, as long as the deadline has not yet passed.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
In some circumstances, people can get a little extra time to file a lawsuit. For example, if you lacked the legal capacity to pursue your injury claim, Georgia law might give you more time and let you reopen your motorcycle accident case. Some of the reasons that you might get a longer deadline can include:
- You are in a comatose state from your injuries.
- You had cognitive impairment.
- You had a mental health issue sufficient enough to affect your legal capacity.
- You were a minor at the time of the wreck.
Be aware that there can be more than one statute of limitations that can apply to a motorcycle accident case. The time limit can vary, depending on whether you are suing under a legal theory of negligence, intentional tort, breach of contract, or defective product liability.
How A Lawyer Can Help You Evaluate the Issue
We realize that this information can be confusing, but do not worry. At S. Burke Law, we can talk with you and let you know if you meet the requirements to reopen your motorcycle accident case. You do not have to handle the complex matter like this on your own. We can evaluate your situation, investigate the crash, collect the evidence to build your case, and work hard to obtain the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
We handle motorcycle accident cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay upfront legal fees. Our legal fees will come out of the settlement or award at the end of the case.
We can deal directly with the insurance company so that you do not have to. Our motorcycle accident clients can focus on getting well because we are handling their legal matters for them.
You can call us today at 404-842-7838 to see how a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you. There is no obligation.
What are the complications of road rash suffered from a motorcycle accident?
There are many injuries you can sustain in a motorcycle accident; one of the most common is road rash. Often called “road burn,” road rash occurs when a driver is dragged or scraped across the ground in a motorcycle accident. Road rash can be painful to endure and costly to treat. If you experienced road rash, contact a motorcycle accident attorney today to learn about your legal options.
There are two types of road rash injuries:
- Avulsion – An avulsion injury happens when the outer layer of skin is stripped away by being thrown off a motorcycle or dragged in an accident. Often, underlying layers of muscle, fat and bone are exposed in this type of injury.
- Compression – A compression injury typically occurs when a part of the body is trapped between the bike and the road (or another item) during a motorcycle accident. This causes a bruising or crushing injury to the limb or body part.
Often with road rash injuries, so much skin is stripped that the rider will need skin graft surgery to repair the area. This involves taking skin from healthier areas of the body and transferring it to the injured area. The wound is then treated with a “wound vacuum” that ensures the injured tissue does not die and successfully joins with other tissue. This surgery and procedure can be expensive and painful.
If you were in a motorcycle accident and received road rash, you could be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney at S. Burke Law Firm today. Call 1-404-467-0909 to begin discussing your case.
How is my Decatur motorcycle accident different from a car crash in Georgia?
A Decatur motorcycle accident is different from a car crash in Georgia in a few ways. Getting help from an Atlanta car accident law firm that has experience with motorcycle accidents is important if you have been injured in one.
The biggest difference is that injuries are more likely to be severe or fatal in a motorcycle accident. While there is some form of protection in a car, there is little or none at all while riding on a bike.
Even motorcyclists who wear protective gear such as a helmet or heavy jacket are at risk of suffering catastrophic injuries if they are thrown from their bike or skid across the pavement.
Another difference is that while most car accidents occur with other vehicles, motorcycles don't usually collide with other bikes. Instead, they are usually struck by cars whose drivers don't see them. Visibility on a bike can be diminished for a number of reasons, including other vehicles or objects obstructing the view.
Motorcycles may not also get the same respect on the road as passenger cars do. Some accidents are caused by a failure to yield to a motorcycle or trying to pass one. Left-hand turns in front of a motorcycle are a common type of car crash in Georgia.
Another difference is that there may be state laws that apply specifically to motorcyclists. Licensing and insurance requirements may be different, and there are also laws concerning the wearing of helmets.
When you have been injured in a Decatur motorcycle accident, and you would like to know how best to protect your legal rights, then you should seek help from an Atlanta car accident law firm that has experience in motorcycle accident cases.
Contacting an Atlanta Car Accident Law Firm
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 1-404-842-7838.
What should I do if I am injured or involved in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta,Georgia?
After you've been in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta, Georgia, you may be injured or traumatized. After that, however, there are certain actions you can take to protect your rights as an accident victim and to strengthen the force your claim will have after you've handed it over to an Atlanta car injury law firm.
Your first priority should be to seek medical attention. Nothing is more important than your physical safety and well-being after an accident.
What to do immediately after you were injured in a motorcycle accident:
- Don't admit fault to anyone. Don't even imply that you may have been at fault. This includes apologizing for the incident.
- Stay at the accident scene until you've been told by the police that you can leave. Just like any other accident, you need to gather and give information before you can go.
- Collect information from the other driver. Get the name, contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver's license number, and license tag number of the other driver. Get the contract information of any witnesses, as well.
- Keep records. Take photos of the accident scene, your motorcycle, the other vehicle involved, and your injuries, and keep records of any expenses that you incur that are related to the accident.
- Speak with an attorney from an Atlanta car injury law firm. An attorney can protect your rights and counsel you on how to proceed when you speak with your insurance company and the other driver's insurer as well.
A motorcycle accident in Atlanta, Georgia, can have serious ramifications and result in severe injuries. If your accident wasn't your fault, you shouldn't have to bear the financial responsibility of your recovery or your bike's repairs. An attorney can help you.
Contacting an Atlanta Car Injury Law Firm
If you are the victim of another driver's negligence and you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Atlanta, Georgia, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404-467-0909.
What do the most recent statistics for Georgia motorcycle accidents show?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there was a decline in fatal Georgia motorcycle accidents between 2008 and 2009. While this is positive news, thousands of accidents still occur each year and many require consulting with a Decatur, Georgia attorney.
In 2009, NHTSA reported 140 fatal Georgia motorcycle accidents. The statistics show that most fatal Georgia motorcycle accidents occurred with the following characteristics:
- victims between the ages of 35 and 44;
- licensed motorcyclists;
- during the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends;
- during normal weather conditions;
- due to a front-end collision with another vehicle; and
- while the rider was wearing a helmet.
These statistics show that there is no single factor that contributes to the frequency and severity of a motorcycle accident. Even licensed riders with proper helmet use and driving with good road conditions can still become the victim of a fatal motorcycle accident.
Most insurance companies see motorcycle accident claimants as reckless, careless riders who are often the cause of their own damages. In truth, a valid motorcycle injury claim usually comes from an experienced driver who was caught off guard by another negligent driver.
If you are the victim of another driver's negligent behavior that leads to a serious motorcycle crash, then you may need legal help. Filing a claim for damages from a motorcycle accident should be done with the help of a trusted Decatur, Georgia attorney with experience in motorcycle injury claims.
A Decatur, Georgia Attorney Can Help Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a motorcycle accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 1-404-842-7838.
What happens if I am partially at fault for my motorcycle accident in Georgia?
If you are partially at fault for your motorcycle accident in Georgia, you may still be able to file a personal injury claim and receive some compensation for your injuries. You can do this because of Georgia's comparative negligence law.
Georgia's Comparative Negligence Law
Regardless of what vehicle you were driving at the time of your motorcycle accident in Georgia, the beauty of Georgia's comparative negligence law is that as long as you are less than 50% responsible for the accident, you can still receive compensation for your injuries and other expenses.
This means if you were 49% responsible for your motorcycle accident in Georgia, you could still file a personal injury claim and collect damages. If you were 50% or more responsible for your motorcycle accident in Georgia, you would not be able to collect anything.
The important thing to remember is that if you do have some fault for your accident, Georgia's comparative negligence law states that your total compensation will be reduced by your degree of fault. This means if your total damage award is $20,000, and you are found 10% responsible for your accident, your total award will be reduced by $2,000.
This means it's extremely important to have the experience of an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney on your side if you were even the slightest bit at fault. This is because insurance adjusters will be the ones who determine your degree of fault, so you'll want to have someone who can speak up on your behalf, to make sure you don't take more than your fair percentage of fault and risk losing compensation you need to aid in your recovery.
Contacting an Atlanta Motorcycle Injury Attorney
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a motorcycle accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case - 404-842-7838.
Is there a mandatory helmet law in Georgia?
There is a mandatory helmet law in Georgia. If you are operating a motorcycle, you must wear a protective helmet in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). To make sure your helmet is FMVSS compliant, look for a DOT symbol on the outside of the helmet.
If you choose not to follow Georgia motorcycle helmet laws, you could be subject to a $1,000 misdemeanor fine and up to a year in jail. More importantly, following Georgia motorcycle helmet laws could save your life.
According to studies from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatal crash by 37%. Studies have found that motorcycle helmets are 67% effective in brain injury prevention. From 1984 to 2002, motorcycle helmets saved the lives of more than 13,700 motorcycle riders.
Georgia motorcycle helmet laws are meant for your own safety. By wearing a helmet, you can reduce your chance of traumatic brain injury or death in a motorcycle accident in Georgia. Failure to follow Georgia motorcycle helmet laws could hamper your ability to seek comprehensive damages after a motorcycle accident.
While you may be able to recover some compensation, you'll have to talk with a Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer about how your failure to follow Georgia motorcycle helmet laws could affect your personal injury claim.
Contacting an Atlanta Motorcycle Injury Lawyer
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a motorcycle accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.
If a car makes a left turn in front of me while I am riding my motorcycle, who would be liable if an accident occurs?
If a car makes a left turn in front of you while you are riding your motorcycle, and a motorcycle accident ensues, the car making the left turn would be liable in most cases. The fact that you are on your motorcycle doesn't change the liability issue here. It's a basic traffic law.
If you were recently in a motorcycle accident with similar circumstances, speak with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in your mind. You could very well have a valid Georgia personal injury claim on your hands.
There are a couple exceptions to this situation, which may put a roadblock on your Georgia personal injury claim.
The only time a vehicle turning left is typically not liable for an accident is in the following situations:
- The vehicle going straight ran a red light.
- The vehicle going straight was speeding.
That's why it is important for you to have evidence that helps support your version of the events. Perhaps the police report at the accident scene helps to establish liability or an eye-witness who saw the motorcycle accident occur can make a statement on your behalf.
Georgia personal injury claims follow a modified comparative negligence 50% rule. This means that if you were 50% or more responsible for the injury, you cannot recover any damages from the other party involved. Now, if you were only 49% responsible, or less, for your motorcycle accident, may be able to recover some amount of compensation. The amount would be reduced though, according to the percentage of fault assigned to you.
It's reassuring to know that if you were partially at fault for your motorcycle accident injury, you could still recover some compensation. Negligence laws such as this one vary state to state. That's why it's beneficial to have the help of an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with experience in Georgia motorcycle accidents if your accident occurred in Georgia.
Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a traffic accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.
Can I recover compensation for a Georgia motorcycle accident if I was not wearing a helmet?
Yes. You may be able to recover compensation after an accident if you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet. However, not wearing a helmet could hurt your case.
If you were not wearing a helmet during your accident and are concerned it might affect your claim for injury compensation, give S. Burke Law a call. We can investigate your accident and let you know what to expect: 404-842-7838.
What Are Georgia’s Helmet Laws?
Georgia has a “universal helmet law.” Georgia’s motorcycle helmet law, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-315, states, “no person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.”
Georgia not only requires all riders and passengers to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle, but that helmet must also meet specific specifications. You must also wear eye protection if your motorcycle does not have a windscreen.
How Can Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Case?
Like most personal injury cases, your settlement largely depends on proving the other party’s negligence. However, disobeying Georgia’s helmet law can be an example of negligence per se (i.e., not wearing a helmet is negligent because it violates the Georgia motorcycle helmet law). And Georgia’s comparative negligence laws hold that any negligence on your part will decrease your settlement.
This means that not wearing a helmet could cause you to lose money for your injuries.
For example, say you were riding straight through an intersection when a driver turned left in front of you without looking. You ran straight into the vehicle, the impact throwing you from your bike and causing you to suffer broken ribs and a traumatic brain injury.
The investigation found the other driver was 100 percent at-fault for the accident; which means he is responsible for any injuries and losses you suffered in the accident.
However, the investigation also found you could have avoided or lessened the severity of your head injury had you been wearing a helmet. The investigators assigned you 40 percent fault for your head injury, allowing you to recover 60 percent of your damages for that injury. If your medical expenses and other losses totaled $100,000 for your head injury, you could only recover $60,000.
The investigation found that you did not contribute to your broken ribs, so you were able to recover full compensation for that injury.
Georgia’s comparative negligence laws also require victims to be less liable than the other party. So, when filing your claim, you must prove that you are 49 percent or less at fault to collect a settlement. If you had also contributed to the accident by acting negligently (e.g., speeding or riding while intoxicated), you might have been unable to recover compensation for your head injury or your broken ribs.
Note: Even if you were wearing a helmet, you could face negligence claims if you were wearing a helmet that did not meet specifications.
How Can S. Burke Law Help Me with My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Sheryl Burke spent time as an insurance adjuster. This insider knowledge allows her to anticipate and defend against any tactics the insurance company might use to devalue your claim.
We will gather any necessary evidence and work with accident reconstruction experts to establish your helmet use had little to no effect on your injury. This evidence might include medical records, photos, and testimony from your doctor or another medical expert.
Call S. Burke Law for Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
S. Burke Law urges all motorcyclists to wear helmets. Georgia’s motorcycle helmet laws exist for a reason, and everyone should do everything in their power to protect themselves from injury. However, we also realize that there is only so much in a motorcyclist’s control. Even when riding responsibly, there is the risk that you are involved in an accident due to circumstances out of your control.
We do not believe that not wearing a helmet should prevent you from collecting the damages you deserve. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident recently, give us a call. We may be able to work with experts and accident reconstructionists to establish wearing a helmet would not have affected your injuries.
Call us at 404-842-7838. Our consultations are free and there is no commitment. See how we can help you today.
What are Georgia's motorcycle insurance requirements?
In Georgia, a motorcycle owner or rider must establish insurance in order to own or operate a motorcycle. Your motorcycle insurance is critical in the event of a motorcycle crash in Atlanta and may be your best source of securing your financial security in the event of a serious crash-related injury. This is an important-and legally necessary-investment and should not be overlooked.
Your most viable option for establishing motorcycle insurance in Georgia will likely be to buy traditional liability insurance through any auto insurance company that is approved to provide such insurance in Georgia.
What Motorcycle Insurance in Georgia Must Cover
Valid motorcycle insurance in Georgia will meet the following requirements:
- at least $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person when a motorcycle crash occurs;
- a minimum of $50,000 for bodily injury or death of at least two people in an accident; and
- coverage for damages of at least $25,000 to one's property as a result of an accident.
Additionally in Georgia, as a motorcycle owner, you have to carry proof of insurance at all times when you're riding on the road. Any police office, local or state, can ask to see this when pulling someone over who's riding a motorcycle.
Additional Georgia Motorcycle Requirements
As another note when considering riding a motorcycle in Georgia: all riders and passengers are required to wear a safety helmet when riding in Georgia. This safety measure is intended to protect you in the event of a motorcycle crash in Atlanta.
Contacting an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence or carelessness, whether in a motorcycle crash in Atlanta or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. To help you understand these rights and seek the compensation you may be eligible for to help get your life back in order, contact the Atlanta Law Offices of Sheryl L. Burke for a no-cost consultation on your injury case.