Voted Best Personal Injury Law Firm By Georgia Lawyers
Macon Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Matt Wetherington with Wetherington Law Firm,P.C. is the hardest working attorney I have ever worked with. He went above and beyond our expectations. Calls and emails are returned promptly and by Mr. Wetherington himself.
5 Stars is nowhere near enough to rate how awesome Matt and his colleagues were. They took my case even when I didn’t think there was anything we could do. I was in a bad situation at the time and Matt, Robert, and Sarah were there for me every step of the way.
I’m so grateful to Ben Levy and everything he did for me. He was truly dedicated to helping my case. Throughout the process, Ben was very thoughtful, responsive, organized, and made sure I was fully informed along the way.
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Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle accidents in Macon can be particularly severe, often resulting in more serious injuries than car accidents. The vulnerability of motorcyclists, combined with factors like road hazards, vehicle blind spots, and less stability, contributes to the risk.
According to Georgia law, as per O.C.G.A. § 51-1-6, those injured due to another party’s negligence, including in motorcycle accidents, have the right to seek compensation. This statute ensures that if someone’s careless actions lead to your injury, they can be held accountable.
When it comes to motorcycle accident claims in Macon, understanding the state’s fault system is vital. Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule, as outlined in O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. This means if you are less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can recover damages, but your compensation will be reduced by your share of fault. Accurately establishing fault is therefore crucial in motorcycle accident claims to ensure a fair settlement.
The compensation in such cases, as highlighted in O.C.G.A. § 51-12-4, may include medical bills, lost income, and damages for pain and suffering. However, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, is two years from the accident date. Timely action is crucial to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
At Wetherington Law Firm, our motorcycle accident lawyers represent victims in Macon. We are well-versed in Georgia’s motorcycle laws and committed to fighting for the rights and fair compensation of our clients. Our team is dedicated to providing skilled legal representation, from negotiating with insurance companies to litigating in court if necessary. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, let Wetherington Law Firm help you navigate the legal process and secure the best possible outcome for your case, call us today!
Types of Motorcycle Accidents in Macon, GA
Motorcycles can collide in a variety of situations. All of these accidents are serious, though some cause different injuries than others:
- Left-hand turn accident. We see these accidents at intersections. A driver making a left-hand turn waits for oncoming traffic to pass through the intersection before hanging a left. However, the driver is in a hurry and doesn’t see a motorcycle coming along at the tail end. They end up colliding.
- Head-on collision. A motorist might slam into a motorcycle head-on. For example, a car might make a right-hand turn. The car right behind impatiently pulls into the other lane to pass but didn’t see the motorcycle coming. They collide. These are often fatal accidents for motorcyclists.
- Rear-end collision. A biker might be waiting at a light or stop sign, but the motorist coming up behind doesn’t brake in time, causing a crash.
- Lane change accidents. A motorist on the freeway might quickly change lanes and not even see the motorcycle behind him.
- Distracted driving. Many motorists are fiddling with the controls, looking at a phone, or eating and driving. Sadly, too many motorcycles blend in with the vehicles around them and the road, so a distracted driver never even sees them.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Georgia gathers accident information for motorcyclists. The numbers show a steady uptick in the number of motorcycle fatalities over the years. For example, in 2020, our state saw 192 motorcycle fatalities, which was an increase over 2019 when there were 170. In 2018, we had only 154 motorcycle fatalities.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Unsurprisingly, motorcyclists suffer serious injuries after a wreck. They often endure a direct hit by a motor vehicle, and many are thrown into the road. Some of the more common injuries include:
- Fractures, including pelvic fractures
- Road rash
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries, including herniated discs
- Spinal column injuries
Without proper treatment, many people will experience a worsening of their injuries. For this reason, we recommend going to the hospital immediately after the wreck.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Many things can go wrong for a motorcyclist hoping to enjoy a ride. Some of the most dangerous hazards include:
- Negligent or reckless motorists
- Road defects, like potholes or debris
- Motorcycle defects that make the bike unsafe to operate
- Poor weather, including rain or ice on the road
- Missing stop signs or traffic lights
If you were driving in a careless manner, then your own negligence could impact your case. Georgia allows victims to seek compensation when they are less at fault than all defendants. In other words, you must be less than 50% to blame. If you’re over, the defendant can ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit against them.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive for a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Macon?
Our clients need compensation to fund their recovery. They suddenly have large expenses, including medical bills, and many unfortunately cannot work. Our Macon motorcycle accident lawyers have sought compensation for:
- Past medical care
- Ongoing medical treatment, such as rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Damage to your motorcycle
- Lost income
- Disfigurement or disability
If a loved one died on a motorcycle, we can help bring a wrongful death claim. This is a special type of lawsuit which compensates families for the whole life of the deceased. For example, we can seek compensation for lost services provided and/or loss of income your loved one would have earned.
Many victims want to know how much they can get in a settlement. There are so many considerations that a general estimate isn’t helpful. In an individualized case review, we can look at your expenses, the severity of injuries, and effect on your family. We also will analyze any comparative fault, which will reduce your compensation by a proportional amount. Temporary, minor injuries typically pay out less than major, permanent disabilities or disfigurement.
An Overview of Georgia’s Helmet Laws
Georgia law requires that all people operating or riding on a motorcycle have appropriate headgear. It is one of the few states with a universal helmet law. Your helmet must meet Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, which should be advertised on the helmet you purchase. If your bike doesn’t have a windshield, then you will need to wear goggles.
These requirements make sense. In fact, helmets can dramatically reduce the severity of a brain injury. Even if you weren’t wearing a helmet, however, you can still seek compensation for a wreck.
What Do You Need to Prove to Obtain Compensation?
Most motorcycle accident victims bring claims based on negligence. This requires that we prove 4 elements:
- The defendant you are suing owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The defendant’s breach caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages.
A motorist driving on the road owes a duty to drive carefully to those around them. This is a duty created by proximity.
In many cases, the hardest legal question is whether the driver breached their duty of care to you. Drivers almost always deny it, so we must rely on evidence to show the motorist didn’t use sufficient care. For example, the following usually qualifies as careless or dangerous driving:
- Passing too closely
- Failing to stop at a light
- Rolling through a traffic stop
- Driving while distracted
- Texting and driving
- Drunk driving
As your attorney, we can investigate the crash to find helpful information. For example, we might talk to witnesses who saw a motorist run a red light before crashing into you. Or we might request cell phone records that show a driver was on the phone before the collision. With this evidence, we can make your case that the driver breached his duty and caused your injuries.
Speak with a Macon Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, call the Wetherington Law Firm today. We can meet for a free consultation to discuss your chances of bringing a successful claim. From our Macon office, we proudly serve the people of central Georgia throughout Bibb, Jones, Twiggs, Crawford, Monroe, Jones, and Wilkinson counties.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do immediately after a motorcycle accident in Macon?
If you’re in a motorcycle accident in Macon, it’s crucial to take certain steps right away:
- Check for Injuries: Your safety comes first. If you or anyone else is hurt, call 911 immediately for medical help.
- Move to Safety: If it’s possible and safe, move yourself and your motorcycle to the side of the road to avoid blocking traffic or causing another accident.
- Call the Police: It’s important to have a police report. They document the accident scene and provide an official record, which can be essential later.
- Exchange Information: Get the names, contact details, and insurance information of any other drivers involved. If there are witnesses, get their information too.
- Take Photos: Capture pictures of the accident scene, your motorcycle, the other vehicles, and any visible injuries. This evidence can be crucial for your claim.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t think you’re badly injured, see a doctor. Some injuries, like concussions or internal injuries, might not be immediately apparent.
- Avoid Discussing Fault: Be cautious about what you say at the scene. Even an apology can be misconstrued as an admission of fault.
- Notify Your Insurance: Contact your insurance company to report the accident, but be careful with the details you provide.
- Consult a Lawyer: Before making any statements or accepting any settlements, talk to a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents in Macon.
How is fault determined in a motorcycle accident case in Macon?
Fault in a motorcycle accident case in Macon, Georgia, is determined based on the state’s traffic laws and the principle of negligence. Here’s how it works:
- Negligence and Fault: Under Georgia law, specifically O.C.G.A. § 51-1-6, fault is generally based on negligence. This means showing that someone didn’t act with the level of care expected under the circumstances, leading to the accident.
- Comparative Negligence Rule: Georgia follows the modified comparative negligence rule, as per O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. If you’re found to be less than 50% responsible for the accident, you can still recover damages, but your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
- Gathering Evidence: To establish fault, evidence like police reports, witness statements, traffic surveillance footage, and photos of the accident scene is crucial. This evidence can help prove who violated traffic laws or acted carelessly.
- Expert Analysis: Sometimes, accident reconstruction experts are brought in to analyze how the accident happened and who is at fault based on the evidence.
What if the motorcycle accident resulted in a permanent disability?
If a motorcycle accident leads to permanent disability, it’s important to know your rights and options:
- Long-term Compensation: You may be entitled to more compensation because of your disability. This can include medical expenses, lifelong care costs, and money for any changes you need in your life, like home modifications.
- Lost Income: If you can’t work anymore or your ability to earn money is affected, you can claim for lost wages and future income.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation can also cover pain and suffering, including the emotional and psychological impact of living with a disability.
- Legal Process: Cases with permanent disability can be complex. It might involve detailed medical assessments and long-term needs analysis.
Dealing with a permanent disability is hard, but you don’t have to face it alone. Wetherington Law Firm is here to help you every step of the way, ensuring you get the support you need for a secure future. Get a free consultation with our motorcycle accident attorneys.