In the aftermath of a motorcycle crash, you probably feel disoriented or frustrated. The best thing you can do after suffering an injury caused by a car or another rider is to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney.
Here are some quick tips to get you started in the right direction:
- Call 911 or the local police office to report the accident so that there is official documentation.
- If possible, collect vehicle, contact, and insurance information from the person who hit you.
- Report the accident to your insurance company but don’t go into detail — just give the basic facts of what happened.
- If you aren’t transported by ambulance, you still need to get treatment for your injuries or any potential injuries you suffered as soon as possible.
- Consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer to learn your rights.
If you’ve been severely injured, you may be wondering how long your injuries will take to heal and whether you should file a motorcycle accident injury claim.
This post will breakdown common types of injuries caused by motorcycle accidents, how much you expect to be compensated for your personal injury claim, and why you should consider hiring a motorcycle injury attorney, especially if the insurance company is ignoring you or offering the bare minimum to cover your medical expenses.
Most Common Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycles are less visible than cars and often have high-performance capabilities. When a motorcycle crash happens, the rider lacks the protection of an enclosed vehicle. Therefore, riders are more likely to be injured or killed.
Although motorcycles only make up a small percentage of registered vehicles, the fatality rate for riders was 27 times that of passenger car occupants. Nationally, motorcyclists make up 14% of all traffic fatalities.
When a person falls, the natural reaction is to extend the arm and hands out to catch themself. This often results in the arm taking the brunt of the impact. When a motorcyclist tries to catch themself while falling at high speed or at an awkward angle, they can injure their arm. Injuries can include a broken wrist, fractured arm, or broken collarbone.
“Biker’s arm” is a term used to describe damage to the nerves at the base of the neck. The nerve damage can cause pain, tingling, or numbness in the ulnar, median, and radial nerves that run along the arms and hands.
Nerve damage can take a long time to heal. Recovery time varies from weeks to several months. Even after treatment has concluded, a person who suffered from biker’s arm could face long-term sensory or motor-control problems.
If you’re experiencing numbness, paralysis, or lack of control in your fingers or arm, seek medical treatment immediately. Ignoring symptoms and delaying treatment weakens your motorcycle injury claim.
Head and Neck Injuries
When an injury occurs to the head or neck the results can be devastating. Motorcycles provide very little external protection in the event of an accident which can put a motorcycle accident victim at risk of a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Brain injury victims may suffer a variety of life-altering symptoms, including vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, headache, sleep disturbances, memory loss, confusion, problems with vision, difficulty with balance, depression, irritability, and other emotional disturbances.
The G forces exerted on a motorcycle rider in a collision are much more intense than for a person in a car. The neck can snap back or rapidly stretch at an unnatural angle. The impact can damage delicate tissues in the neck and spinal cord. Neck injuries can range from soft tissue damage and herniated discs to permanent paralysis or even death.
In many cases, the leg is injured in a motorcycle accident. This is because many riders don’t wear leg protection or because the leg is often hit by a vehicle during a left turn or a sideswipe. An impact to the leg can potentially be disabling. Common injuries include scrapes, large cuts, road rash, severe bruising, and broken bones. It can take weeks or months for an injured biker to recover.
Road rash occurs when a motorcyclist is thrown off a bike. The layers of the skin are torn off, exposing bones, tendons, and muscles. Road rash can result in cuts, scrapes, bruises, skin irritations, infections, surface nerve damage, skin loss, and disfigurement. Oftentimes it affects the legs, arms, face, palms of the hand, and shoulders.
It can take several years of treatment to recover from a severe road rash injury and at a high cost. A single skin graft that is used to replace severely injured skin can cost $100,000 or more. A motorcycle accident victim may require multiple skin grafts, plastic surgery, and therapy.
Read More: Georgia Motorcycle Crash Injury Statistics
Georgia Motorcycle Laws
In addition to the standard rules of the road, Georgia also lays out specific statutes that all motorcyclists need to follow. By following the law, it will be easier to argue against any criticisms or concerns levied by the insurance company’s lawyers looking to discredit your injury claim.
- Georgia requires all motorcycle operators and their passengers to wear helmets approved by the Department of Transportation.
- State law also requires that a motorcyclist have eye protection of some sort (large windshield, helmet visor, or approved eyewear).
- A motorcycle designed to carry a passenger must have footrests available to use while the vehicle is in operation.
- A passenger cannot ride on a motorcycle if there is not a seat designed to accommodate them.
- It is illegal to lane split in Georgia. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle shares the same lane space with a car or driving between two vehicles to pass them.
- Motorcyclists can share a lane with another rider if the lane is large enough.
- Motorcycles must operate with their headlights and taillights on at all times.
- All motorcycles must have side mirrors and brake lights. Motorcycles made after 1972 must have turn signals.
- All motorcyclists are required to carry auto insurance. We recommend adding some or all optional coverages for uninsured/underinsured motorists, personal liability, collision, and comprehensive to protect yourself from serious financial loss in the event of a motorcycle wreck.
What Is Your Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?
As motorcycle injury attorneys, we receive this question a lot. Here’s what we tell our clients at the beginning of the personal injury process: compensation depends on the circumstances of the crash, how much insurance coverage is available, how severe the injuries are, and how long it will take to heal.
There are so many variables that come into play when we try to address the value of a motorcycle accident injury claim. To accurately estimate a settlement for a motorcycle accident, our injury lawyers must examine the following:
- Impact of the accident - Our investigators look at how much property damage occurred to the motorcycle and the other vehicle, taking into account the speed involved at the moment of impact and the size of the vehicles involved.
- Severity of the injuries - We take into account whether an injured victim was treated at the scene and transported by ambulance to the hospital; whether there were broken bones, scarring, surgeries, or surgical recommendations; and if the injuries are permanent or disabling.
- Special damages - This includes medical bills, future medical treatment, lost wages from missed work, future lost wages, and punitive damages if the driver was intoxicated or malicious.
Our law firm thoroughly researches and investigates each motorcycle accident independently. These cases can be very complex. The sooner that you act by contacting us, the quicker we can get started investigating your case and protecting your rights.
Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
Call Gary Martin Hays & Associates now to handle your motorcycle personal injury claim so you can go to the doctor and get better. We’ve helped injured motorcyclists suffering from brain injuries, broken legs, and other traumatic injuries. Our motorcycle accident injury attorneys have also helped grieving families who have lost a loved one in a motorcycle wreck receive just compensation.
It is never a good idea for you to try and take on the insurance company and their team of lawyers by yourself. Insurance adjusters may tell you things like “you don't need a lawyer” but as soon as they hang up the phone with you they pick up the phone to speak with their lawyer.
Let us show you how much of a difference hiring a lawyer can make in your case. Contact us online or give us a call at (770) 934-8000. You owe it to yourself and to your family to get the help you need.