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Newnan Office
37 Calumet Parkway, ​Building N
​Suite N-118
Newnan, Georgia 30263

470-344-8550 Phone
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Who Is Liable for Damages Caused by a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcyclists face myriad dangers on the road that expose them to the possibility of accidents and resulting severe injuries or death. These hazards run the gamut from road defects, — like potholes, ruts, cracks and upheavals, — to high winds and poor weather conditions. But the greatest threats to motorcyclists are the larger vehicles that they share the road with. When collisions occur, the injured biker can pursue claims for damages against drivers who are at fault.

Common reasons for motorcycle collisions including the following:

  • Lower Lesser visibility: Motorcycles are smaller than even the smallest cars, making them more susceptible to being overlooked by other drivers. This can result in accidents, is particularly the case when a motorcycle is in another driver’s blind spot.
  • Sudden maneuvers: Motorcyclists are faster and more agile in navigating narrow spaces, which sometimes can make them obstacles for other drivers who don’t see them until it’s too late.
  • Lane splitting: The practice of motorcyclists riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic can lead to collisions if other drivers are unaware or unprepared.
  • Left-turn accidents: Drivers making left turns at intersections may fail to see or to yield to an oncoming motorcycle.

Even though the actions of a motorcyclist’s actions may contribute to an accident, the injured rider can still claim damages if other drivers were primarily to blame. Georgia has a modified comparative negligence rulelaw, which means that if you were injured while riding a motorcycle, you can recover monetary compensation from other drivers as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault. Your recovery of damages, however, will be reduced by the percentage of your share of negligence.

As an example, a vehicle driver attempting a lane change fails to see ahead of an oncoming motorcycle in that the destination lane. The motorcycle was speeding, so the other driver did not see it when initially checking the sideview mirror. The driver also failed to signal the lane change. The vehicle sideswipes the motorcycle and the rider is thrown to the ground, suffering head and neck injuries and broken bones. An additional factor was that the rider’s helmet did not comply with the federal DOT standards for protective headgear.

Even though the motorcyclist was speeding, the primary cause of the accident would likely be the other driver’s failure to exercise due caution and to signal in making the lane change. If that driver was 65 percent at fault, the motorcyclist could recover 35 percent of his proven damages. However, the lack of a DOT-compliant helmet might be found to have worsened the injuries he suffered. That finding could serve to increase his percentage of fault, and thereby further decrease or even deny his recovery.

An experienced Georgia motorcycle injury attorney can thoroughly investigate the causes of your accident and of the harm you suffered, in order to make a compelling case for recovering of fair monetary compensation.

The Law Office of S. Mark Mitchell, LLC in Newnan represents injured motorcyclists throughout Georgia. Call {PHONE} or contact me online to schedule a free consultation.