The thrill of the ride is one of the most compelling reasons to purchase a motorcycle. Theyâ€™re also cheaper than purchasing a car, use less fuel for more mileage and can reduce your commuting time in half. But no matter how cautious you are, you canâ€™t control the behavior of other people on the road.
Unfortunately, many motorists are intentionally rude and inconsiderate of bikers. Three years ago, the California Office of Traffic Safety conducted a survey on motorcycle safety, where drivers admitted to actively trying to prevent lane sharing with bikers. In Georgia, lane-splitting is illegal. This doesnâ€™t mean that drivers in cars have the right to try to bully bikers from entering a lane, or exiting and entering the freeway. Often this very behavior is what causes motorcycle accidents.
In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 137 motorcyclist fatalities in the state of Georgia. The previous year (2013), they reported 88,000 injuries from motorcycle accidents, with older riders more likely to be injured than younger ones. Injuries to motorcyclists typically stem from three factors:
- Negligence of other drivers
- Rider error
- Defective equipment
If youâ€™ve recently suffered an accident, an experienced attorney can help you be better informed of your rights.
Georgia Accident Attorneys
At Fried Rogers Goldberg, LLC, we are known as the Truck Accident Attorneys, but our commitment is to defending anyone, including motorcyclists, injured at the hands of another driver. We know too well that a big-rig collision with a motorcycle can result in catastrophic harm for the biker, including wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please give us a call. Our combined 50 plus years of personal injury litigation means we understand how to deal with all the parties involved â€“ the person who hit you, the insurance companies and most importantly you and your family â€“ to provide the best legal options for your specific needs.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
The very thing that makes riding a motorcycle so exhilarating is also the very thing that makes them so dangerous â€“ namely a tiny human sitting atop an aluminum and steel frame with a powerful engine, wearing nothing but the clothes on their back and a helmet on their head. A car has various built-in safety features to protect the human body from impact damage. A motorcycle – not so much. A sudden stop or smash against a vehicle that vastly outweighs yours is bound to end in pain.
Common motorcycle injuries include:
Protecting your largest organ, your skin, is vital when riding a motorcycle. Itâ€™s why most gear is designed to look and feel like medieval armor. Road rash is what happens when your exposed skin slides against the ground during a fall. Similar to burns, road rash comes in degrees ranging from first degree (a minor scrape) to third (requiring immediate medical treatment and skin grafting). Any degree of road rash left untreated could result in infection. The best way to avoid skin-to-surface contact in the event of a fall is to always wear protective gear.
Remember that tiny human/large engine scenario? Unless youâ€™re a trained stuntman, a fall from a motorcycle is likely to result in broken bones. When youâ€™re going down, often the first instinct is to use your hands to either brace the fall or protect your neck and torso. Because of this, broken femurs, shins and ankles are frequent injuries seen in bike accidents. While these may be less severe than a head or neck injury, they are still very painful.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Damage to the spinal cord can be minor or severe, depending on the location and severity of the injury. In worst case scenarios, a spinal cord injury could result in quadriplegia or total paralysis.
Muscle and Nerve Damage
Some of the more minor injuries that a motorcyclist can endure are sprains, strains and tears in the muscles, tendons or nerves. However, some types of nerve damage require multiple medical interventions â€“ such as therapy and surgery â€“ to fully heal.
One common myth about motorcycle helmets is that they can cause neck injuries in the event of a crash. But a 2013 study by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation revealed both helmeted and unhelmeted riders involved in fatal crashes had soft tissue neck injuries. Your neck is the one part of your body almost fully exposed while riding. The weight of the helmet pulling on the neck and the g-forces exerted during a crash contribute to the severity of a neck injury.
The law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets in 19 states, and Georgia is one of them. The blunt force trauma of a motorcycle crash can cause damage to your brain. This is also known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a serious medical condition. Even a mild bump on the head can cause headaches, loss of consciousness and temporary blindness. Severe TBI can cause personality changes, depression, and in rare cases, sudden savant syndrome.
Injuries Due to Defective Parts
Sometimes accidents result from defective parts, and recall of defective parts are common with all manufacturers. In 2015, Harley-Davidson, Yamaha and Ducati all issued product recalls for imperfect parts. The truth is, they are required by law to alert consumers when this happens. For this reason, itâ€™s always in your best interest to register your vehicle with the manufacturer, so any malfunctioning part can be replaced if need be on their dollar.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
We hope this goes without saying, but the very first thing you should do when someone is injured in an accident is seek medical attention. As soon as you are able, you will need to file a claim with your insurance adjuster. To better support your claim:
- Take notes. Write down every detail you can recall about the accident. What happened, the weather conditions, the time of day, and the people involved.
- Keep an injury log. After you report your injuries to a medical provider, record any and all injuries, pain, treatments or other problems caused by the collision.
- Include photographs documenting the location and the damage to property.
- Locate witnesses. Their testimony of the event could strengthen your claim.
Car drivers should try to remember that a person on a motorcycle will have a far higher risk of being injured due to the vast differences in weight of the colliding vehicles. The average sedan can weigh around 4,000 pounds; the average motorcycle â€“ a mere 400 pounds. Unfortunately, all too often car drivers ignore this fact and their negligence can be devastating.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
Our motorcycle accident lawyers understand that victims often must endure months or years of treatment to reach a recovery. Our lawyers will aggressively protect your legal rights and help to ensure that your case is quickly and efficiently prosecuted so you can get your life back in order.
Contact Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC today to schedule a free consultation.
Fried Rogers Goldberg Motorcycle Accident Verdicts and Settlements
- $1.75 million – Truck/Motorcycle Collision
- $1 million – Truck/Motorcycle Collision