Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable in traffic collisions. They do not have seat belts, airbags, or protective vehicle frames to shield against the worst of a crash.
As a result, the following types of serious injuries are common in Georgia motorcycle accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial injuries and dental trauma
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Back and shoulder injuries
- Arm, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries
- Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
- Fractured and dislocated bones
- Bruises, lacerations, and puncture wounds
- Thermal burns and road rash
- Traumatic amputations and loss of limbs
- Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
- Leg, knee, ankle, and foot injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other emotional and psychological injuries
- Wrongful death
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault
The actions you take after a Georgia motorcycle accident can have a substantial impact on your ability to recover compensation, regardless of who was at fault. You can take the following steps to protect your legal rights after a motorcycle wreck:
- Seek prompt medical attention – If you are seriously injured at the accident scene, call 911 and seek emergency care immediately. Otherwise, see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if you feel like your injuries weren’t serious. A medical professional can accurately diagnose your injuries, provide treatment, and describe your condition in your medical records.
- Follow your doctor’s care plan – If your doctor prescribes you medication or recommends a certain course of treatment, it’s best to follow their care plan as closely as possible. This includes taking medications at the prescribed dosage and frequency, completing recommended exercises or treatments, and attending all follow-up appointments as scheduled. Not only will this maximize the effectiveness of your care, but it will also demonstrate to interested parties that you are taking your recovery seriously.
- Keep a “pain journal” – Keep track of lingering pain, chronic symptoms, or any limitations resulting from the crash in a pain journal. This journal can be a simple piece of paper or a digital document where you write daily observations about your pain levels and other injury-related symptoms. The details in your pain journal can help you demonstrate how the crash affected you over time, both physically and mentally.
- Gather evidence from the scene – It’s best to gather as much evidence as possible from the motorcycle accident scene. Take photos of the vehicles involved in the crash, any skid marks or debris on the road, and any visible injuries. Ask the other driver for their contact and insurance information. Record contact information and statements from eyewitnesses as well. Hold on to your helmet, if you were wearing one, and any clothing or gear you had on when the wreck occurred.
- Keep track of important documents – Be sure to keep copies of any medical or financial documents related to the accident. This paperwork includes your medical records and bills, pay stubs or bank records showing reduced wages, and even estimates from motorcycle repair shops. These types of documents can help you demonstrate the financial losses you suffered due to the accident.
- Be aware of what you say to others – It’s important to watch what you say about the accident. Never apologize or accept blame for the accident, as this could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. If you have to speak to the insurance company, keep your statements brief and to the point. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know the answer to a question, but don’t offer guesses to their questions either. Also, don’t agree to provide any written or recorded statements about the crash. In general, it’s best to simply allow a qualified attorney to handle third-party communication on your behalf.
- Be careful with social media posts – If you use social media, it’s best to limit your online presence while your motorcycle accident claim is pending. Always assume that others can see what you share online. And since even the most innocent photos or comments can be taken out of context and used to undermine your credibility, it’s often easier to avoid posting anything on social media until your case is resolved.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer – The sooner you contact a knowledgeable lawyer after a Georgia motorcycle accident, the better. When you have an attorney in your corner early on, they have the time to craft an effective strategy customized to meet your needs. An attorney can also manage tedious paperwork, stressful communication, and tough negotiations while you focus on getting back on your feet.
Compensation Available in Georgia Motorcycle Accident Claims
Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for the following types of losses in a Georgia motorcycle accident claim:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Incidental costs, such as travel to medical appointments
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Lost earning potential
- Pain, suffering, and lost quality of life
Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Georgia Motorcycle Crash Case?
In some cases, neglecting to wear a helmet may affect your case after a Georgia motorcycle accident. Although it is possible to recover money if you were injured while riding without a helmet, the amount of money you receive from a motorcycle accident lawsuit could be reduced in certain circumstances.
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence laws, the amount of money you recover from an injury lawsuit can be decreased if your negligence contributed to your injuries in some way. For example, if the amount you were set to receive in damages was $10,000, but it’s determined you’re 25 percent at fault, you would only receive $7,500. If you are found 50 percent or more at fault, you could even be legally barred from recovering money for your losses.
Even though helmet use does not directly affect your chances of being involved in a crash, neglecting to wear a helmet certainly increases your risk of certain crash injuries. Let’s say you were riding without a helmet and made a legal left-hand turn at an intersection where a motorist ran a stop sign and collided with you. This accident left you with a broken arm and a concussion. In this circumstance, the driver who ran the stop sign would almost certainly be found at fault for the wreck. The accident and broken arm would have occurred regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet or not.
However, they could argue that you may not have sustained a concussion if you had been wearing a safety helmet as required by law. By this argument, your compensation could be reduced based on the percentage of fault you are assigned.
Importantly, receiving a ticket for not wearing a motorcycle helmet is different from being assigned negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. Just because you got a ticket does not automatically mean you cannot seek money from a motorcycle accident lawsuit or insurance claim. And similarly, even if you did not get a ticket, this does not necessarily guarantee you will receive compensation. To pursue maximum motorcycle accident compensation, retaining a skilled and knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible is in your best interest.
If you were injured in a Dalton, GA motorcycle wreck, you deserve only the best legal representation for your case. At Geiger Legal Group, LLC, our trusted Georgia motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you pursue a successful claim while you focus on healing from the accident. Contact us today to discuss the details of your situation in a free initial case review.