As fun as motorcycles are to ride, they can be very dangerous. Motorcycle accidents can be very serious and understanding the risks that come with riding them is crucial for staying safe on the road. For these situations, understanding how to determine who is at fault in a motorcycle accident is necessary for essential insurance filings, especially if facing extensive damages from the crash.
Is Georgia An At-Fault State?
Georgia is considered an at-fault state, meaning that the person who causes the accident to happen is liable for any damages or injuries caused by the collision. For motorcycles, these injuries can be more extensive than car accident injuries because of how exposed motorcycle riders are when on their bikes. Being at fault for a motorcycle accident in Georgia can make a rider responsible for the not-at-fault party’s injuries, such as:
- Serious head trauma
- Loss of limbs
- Road rash caused by high-speed contact with asphalt
Staying present while driving, following the rules of the road, and driving sober are some of the best ways to avoid causing accidents; however, the actions of other drivers are unpredictable and can lead to accidents, regardless of one’s safety measures. Drivers who are not at fault for motorcycle accidents can claim damages ranging from medical bills to repair bills for any necessary maintenance to pain and suffering the injured party faces.
How To Start The Claims Process
A motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit may be brought if involved in a motorcycle collision or if representing a loved one who was hurt in a motorcycle accident. In Georgia, contributory negligence is governed by OCGA 51-12-33. Even if the blame for a motorcycle accident is shared, both parties are still eligible to receive damages under this statute. The ability to recover damages is impacted if one party’s proportion of fault exceeds a predetermined level, making them mostly at fault for the crash. In these instances, the party with a greater hand in the accident will receive less in damages than the other party or parties involved. Insurance companies want to be informed right away about crashes, but there is a two-year window for filing these cases.
State Motorcycle Laws
Each state must enact laws governing motorcycle safety, and Georgia is no exception. A complete list of the regulations can be found in Georgia Statutes 40-6-310 through 40-6-315, but the following are some key principles to bear in mind:
- Two motorcyclists may share a lane, but no other vehicles are allowed to do so
- Lane splitting is not allowed.
- Both the headlights and the taillights must always be on
- Helmets are necessary
- The only conversation authorized is when speakers are present.
- Motorcycles must have mounted windshields; in the absence of a windshield, riders must wear safety goggles.
- The height of the handlebars, however, must not exceed 15 inches.
- If you plan to ride with passengers, you must have footrests.
In Georgia, it is required by law that all motorcycle riders have motorcycle insurance, which covers them in the event of a collision. Coverage options can vary from full coverage for all damages to any property or non-at-fault parties involved in a collision to the minimum amount of coverage, which covers between $25,000 and $50,000 worth of property damage and medical bills.
Seeking Legal Help With A Motorcycle Accident
Besides treating any injuries, the first step that should be taken after any motorcycle accident is contacting the authorities and determining who was at fault for the crash. After sending in any necessary insurance information to the at-fault party’s carrier, getting a personal injury lawyer to handle these accidents is necessary for reaching a proper settlement. At Lamar Law Office, our legal team can help support those dealing with serious motorcycle accidents and reach the compensation they deserve. To get started with the claims process, contact us today.