Being one of the busiest states in the US, Georgia’s roads are prone to catastrophic and fatal motorcycle accidents. Moreover, Interstate 285 in Atlanta has earned the reputation as one of the deadliest roadways in the country.
Traffic rarely stops in any large city. Therefore, it’s not surprising that accidents in Atlanta appear to be more frequent despite the improved safety standards and technological advancements.
If you’re a motorcyclist driving on I-285 or any of Atlanta’s highways, you might be exposed to a road accident and suffer serious injuries.
Even the most skilled motorcycle riders can be involved in catastrophic motorcycle accidents. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident, you might be eligible to file a personal injury claim. However, you need an experienced lawyer so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
We at The Personal Injury Center can help to protect your rights and give your motorcycle accident case the best fighting chance by connecting you to a personal injury attorney. Keep reading to learn how Atlanta personal injury lawyers can assist you in navigating the complexities of motorcycle accident claims.
Are Motorcycle Accidents Increasing in Atlanta?
Motorcycle accidents are increasing in both Atlanta and Georgia in general. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, fatalities from motorcycle accidents in the state have increased by 22% from 2017 to 2019. Specifically, the Atlanta region represented 42% of all motorcycle crashes.
The same data reveals that metro Atlanta generally has a higher rate of motorcycle accidents. With victims more likely to sustain broken bones and other severe injuries, motorcycle accidents present a growing public health challenge.
Motorcycle riders are more likely to get injured or killed than motorists in other vehicles when they’re involved in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in accidents than passengers in other vehicles.
Motorcycle accident victims can file claims for any accident-related loss, injury and costs incurred. The direct, measurable costs of motorcycle crashes per year were around $16 billion or more. These include expenses such as local emergency services, medical care, property damage, insurance, and market productivity loss.
Speaking to a personal injury attorney after a motorcycle accident is very important. Find the right personal injury attorney to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. We can connect you to one of our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers specializing in your case.
While motorcycle crashes are inevitable, there are several steps you can take to prevent yourself from being involved in one. Slowing down and practicing safe riding, especially in the metro Atlanta area, is one way to remain safe. Another way to prevent motorcycle accidents is to understand why they’re happening in the first place. Keep reading to find out the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists must be aware of the dangers of driving a motorcycle. They should understand these motorcycle accidents can happen anytime, leading to severe injuries and even death. Learn more about the potential damage that may come after a motorcycle accident and how you can avoid them
Several dangerous situations can cause motorcycle accidents, but we highlighted the most common ones below. Most of these causes are preventable or avoidable, which means that if you’re careful, you may not be involved in a motorcycle accident.
Road hazards pose a risk to all types of vehicles. They make driving and maneuvering more challenging, particularly in inclement weather conditions. While some dangers in roadways pose little or no threat to cars and other closed motor vehicles, they are dangerous for motorcycles.
Road defects cause only about 2% of all motorcycle crashes. But once they occur, they can have a devastating impact on a motorcycle rider. If you’re a motorcyclist, you should be more alert and take precautions to avoid such dangers.
Before driving your motorcycle on any roadway, it’s essential to know about the following road hazards:
- Rough and bumpy roadways: Construction work, poor maintenance, and resurfacing efforts can cause rough and bumpy patches on the road. These conditions increase the likelihood of motorcycle accidents.
- Gravel on the pavement: Gravel is one of the most dangerous surfaces for motorcyclists. It causes the wheels to lose friction, which makes it harder for motorcycle riders to pass. This condition is notably troublesome when driving on curvy and winding roads.
- Edge brakes between lanes: Edge breaks, which is when two traffic lanes are at different heights, are one of the many hazards on the road. While this isn’t a big deal for cars, it’s a real problem for motorcyclists, especially when they’re driving at high speeds.
- Railroad crossings: There’s a risk for motorcycle tires to get stuck in a railway track, which can easily throw you off your motorcycle. Some railway crossing areas have wood or metal, causing the surfaces to get wet or slippery. As a result, the wheels may lose friction, which may make it hard for you to maintain control of your motorcycle.
- Road debris: Any object or debris on the roadway can potentially cause a deadly motorcycle accident. Pieces of tires, rocks, branches, or items that fell from other motor vehicles are some of the roadway debris you may encounter while driving.
Someone else’s negligence causes most motorcycle accidents involving road hazards. A motorcyclist or his or her family can file a lawsuit against the negligent party. The person or entity liable for a motorcycle crash caused by road hazards can include the federal government, the state, or private companies.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Since a motorcycle is narrow, it can pass between cars. This allows motorcyclists to move around traffic and continuously drive between two lanes. While getting through traffic jams seems easier, this driving practice is very dangerous.
Driving a motorcycle between two traffic lanes is known as lane splitting. Like most states, Georgia law does not allow motorcycles to lane-split. This means that riding between two lanes of traffic is not only dangerous but also unlawful.
Georgia expects motorcycle riders to stick to one lane. If a motorcycle accident occurs because of lane splitting, then you may also be liable for the accident, which will affect your personal injury claim.
Georgia has a comparative negligence rule. For example, if the court finds that the accident is your fault by 50% or more, then you may not be able to recover any compensation. However, if your fault is under 50%, the amount you get will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Motorcyclist Riding Behaviors
The risky behavior of motorcyclists causes most motorcycle accidents. While some drivers follow the rules of the road, others tend to break them. Such negligent actions by motorcyclists can put everyone in danger. Below are some of the causes of motorcycle accidents.
- Overspeeding: Like other vehicular accidents, speeding also contributes to motorcycle accidents. When you’re driving over the speed limit, there’s not enough time to slow down and avoid crashing into a motorcyclist. Exceeding the speed limit interferes with the driver’s ability to recognize road hazards and an oncoming rider.
- Intoxication: Intoxicated driving is one of the contributing factors to motorcycle and other vehicle accidents. Nearly 4% of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. Compared to cars, driving a motorcycle requires more skill and coordination. However, since intoxicated drivers cannot fully use their senses, they are at a great disadvantage on the road.
- Not Wearing a Helmet: Wearing a state-approved helmet is one of the most effective ways to reduce and prevent traumatic brain injuries and fatalities. Unhelmeted fatalities in states that don’t require drivers to wear helmets were nearly ten times as many as those with a universal helmet law.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
Cars or other vehicles making left-hand turns are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. According to the NHTSA, 40% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved another vehicle making a left turn at the time of the crash. These accidents usually occur for several reasons, including the following:
- Failure to see the motorcycle because of its narrow profile
- The rider misjudging the safe speed and proximity of a motorcyclist
- Driving a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- When the driver is driving distracted
Regardless of the reason for taking a left-hand turn that causes a motorcycle accident, the negligent driver will be held liable. When turning left at an intersection, it’s vital to stay alert and know your vehicle’s blind spots to avoid a fatal crash.
Check Out The Personal Injury Center to Get the Best Legal Assistance in Atlanta
No one wants to be involved in a motorcycle or auto accident. While you can minimize the likelihood and impact of a motorcycle accident, there’s no way to fully prevent it. If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, talk to an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible and get the legal advice you need.
Personal injury lawyers from a well-established law firm with years of experience can handle your insurance claim and settlement negotiations. If necessary, they can even take your case to court while you rest and recover.
How do you find the best motorcycle accident attorney in Atlanta? Get a free case evaluation from The Personal Injury Center today. We can connect you with the most skilled and suitable Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney specializing in your case.
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FAQs on Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Atlanta
The value of motorcycle accident claims depends on several factors, such as the severity of the injuries, medical bills, and loss of earnings. However, on average, the amount may be more or less than $7,000.
Atlanta, and Georgia, in general, have traffic rules. You can drive safely in Atlanta if motorcycle riders and other drivers follow them and practice safe riding behaviors.
Your health and safety should be your top priority after a motorcycle accident. Depending on your circumstances, there may be more or fewer things to remember. However, after a minor motorcycle accident, you should consider following these steps:
- Get to a safe location.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Inform the police or authorities.
- Take photos and other potential evidence of the accident.
- Hire an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney.
- Contact your insurance company.